50 Years Ago

Millions of working mamas

Excerpt from the April 18, 1964, issue of SCIENCE NEWS LETTER

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9:00am, April 5, 2014
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Millions of mamas — and even grandmamas — go to work every day in the United States. One-third to one-half of the working women are mothers and grandmothers. About nine million mothers with children under 18 years of age this year will work…. About six times as many mothers will work this year as worked two decades ago. Almost five million more mothers will work in 1964 than worked in 1950, if the present trend continues…. Women working full-time earn only about three-fifths as much as men.... “There must be equal pay for equal work for both sexes as well as among the races. Pay should be based on the job done — not on who does the job,” declares Mrs. [Assistant Secretary of Labor Esther] Peterson.

UPDATE 

It has been a long time since millions of American women working outside the home was big sociological news. Women are now 47 percent of the U.S. workforce. But some things have not changed as much as was hoped in 1964. In 2012, U.S. women made 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.

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