Saturday, February 07, 2009

Employment equality predicted for the US

In the English language Japanese newspaper I was reading this morning, there was an article predicting that women will make up more than 50% of the US workforce before this recession is out. It's very sad that this been achieved by reducing male opportunity, not by increasing female opportunity.

82% of job losses in the US have been men. Women now represent just over 47% of the workforce (compared with 40% in most western nations) and if job losses continue, they may well top 50%. Unfortunately, this isn't good news for anyone.

Women will be supporting families with less full time work, less health insurance, less unemployment insurance and still doing more of the caring duties in the house. To quote the article
Many of the unemployed men interviewed say they have tried to help out with cooking, veterinarian appointments and other chores, but they have not had time to do more because job-hunting consumes their days.
One poor dear saying that "he spends 35-45 hours a week looking for work".

Yep. Those veterinarian appointments are onerous. Huh? How many hours are their wives working? Not to mention that many of these people have been out of work for a very long time, is this time spent job-hunting actually time well spent? Has it ever occurred to these guys that it might make more sense to look at some different options. Spending some time looking for a job, some time doing caring work and maybe even some time doing a part time job to ease the cash burden. But no, men are breadwinners, so even if they aren't doing that, they have to devote all their time to trying to be. Leaving their wives to do absolutely everything else.

The article says this is changing long standing gender roles, but it isn't at all. It's just reducing the living standards of the people involved. My heart goes out to everyone affected by our economic overlord's negligence and incompetence, but it will take more than numbers of women in the workforce to change gender roles.

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