Women Participation To The Labor Force Research Paper Example

Type of paper: Research Paper

Topic: Women, Family, Society, Economics, Sociology, Men, Labor, Development

Pages: 7

Words: 1925

Published: 2021/02/21

Women participation in the labor force is a key ingredient to economic development

The concept of women’s work is an ancient practice that distinguishes the roles of women and women as presumed by traditional beliefs and the inherent attitude by subsequent generations. The female gender has encountered subordination to men as they are required to take care of domestic activities while men undertake labor work and decision-making process. Unfortunately, the inherent notion is likely to lose its ground as women reinforce their effort to push for equality in freedom of expression, collective approach to society care, engagement in political activities and their capability to deliver quality output in the labor sector. It is highly evident that the number of women in the labor force continues to rise rendering the unconventional value of women as domestic champions and a receiver of social decisions. The prevailing attitude is that women have equal rights as men to access education, express their views and contribute to household income.
For a long time, male chauvinism mental consciousness has dominated across all ages in the society to the disadvantage of women. The indigenous social, cultural beliefs and practices hold to the perception that women’s role is confined to domestic chores and caring for the children. Unfortunately, the persistence of the notion and subsequent inherent to the emerging generation pose a significant risk to the future of women with regards to education development, gender disparity, freedom of speech and participation in political activities. Notably, the ratio of women to men participation in the workforce and legislative positions remains high to the disadvantage of women despite the aggressive campaign against women subjectivity to the stringent cultural beliefs. However, despite the slow pace of society’s appreciation for women as economic pillars, a considerable increase in the number of women engaging in formal labor usher a promising future for gender-economic development. The women revolution in America during the British colonialism and their dedicated patriotism to the country was a clear demonstration of how the female gender can equally contribute to economic stability in the country.
Various theorists developed strong arguments in support of women’s roles and the cultural impediments to women growth. While the society believes that women should take care of the children and maintain the family social needs, Alfred Marshall countered the argument with an assertion that women subordination and inequality in marriage are the key factors that derail women empowerment whose and the impact spills over to men and children in the family.
The arguments lead the contentious questions “what are the limits of women participation in the social and economic development? And should the society rescind the indigenous culture of women as domestic champions while men undertake political and economic activities in the society?
This essay will strive to unravel the negative impact of cultural chains in women empowerment and demonstrate the positive impact of accommodating women in political and economic participation to promote the rise in household income and equal wealth distribution.

Theoretical concepts of Women’s work

John Stuart Mill is one of the great philosophers who entrenched his views on the social theory about the rights of women and their deserved position in the early years of 1861. He believed that the society beliefs and cultural practices were the core attribute to the slow uptake of women’s participation in external activities beyond domestic chores. Basically there are segregated activities that are with men and women, and an intertwine of either portrays a contravention of the revered beliefs in the society. For instance breastfeeding, childbirth, cooking, midwife is highly advocated as women’s work. However, the society has always sidelined the female gender to exercise their role in building the nation. Mill characterized the view as unconventional and an impediment to women’s freedom to understand and prove their capacity. Mill’s argument manifest in the current era where a huge gap exists between men and women in the employment sector with the forming accounting for the highest percentage. Particularly, the highest percentage of employed women occupies junior positions as their counterparts hold executive positions at their expense (Tatalovich, 2004). The doomed social image on women is what John Stuart Mill proposed for a weakening in the society and promotes equality between men and women’s roles in social and economic development.
Equality is essential to the family development and women deserve an equal position in expressing their views and engaging in similar activities as men. Hindrance by the society overshadows the influence of the female gender in molding moral virtues and defending equal rights for citizens. One of the notable implications for Mill’s advocacy for women’s rights was the revolution of women suffrage Under the brave leadership of Pankhurst; a political activists, their aggressive demand for rights to vote yielded success when the United Nations formally accepted and entrenched the rights of women to participate in voting and vie for public offices at the same level with men. The successful political struggle could be attributed to the current change in the labor force and political arena where the number of women continues to rise by the day. Mill’s concept of women equality in the society has changed the labor force in the economy where women held a considerable percentage of more than 50% of the workforce in the industrial sector contrary to the past attitude of women as domestic workers (US Bureau of Labor Statistics,2014).
While the concept of work defined the role of women in the society, education as a factor of empowerment was highly undervalued in women and instead men were the preferred gender to gain knowledge in higher institutions. Most social tenets held that a woman was well positioned to take care of the husband and children, and such responsibilities would not demand enrollment in an institution. Rather, the concept could be learned through peer interaction among women and their female children to enhance continuity of culture.
The old age virtue was developed on the basis that a man is the provider of the family while a woman maintained peace and social welfare in the family. Surprisingly, even in the current century some societies still uphold the practice of isolating female gender from education empowerment and instead shift more focus on the rise of a male child to gain well-grounded social and economic knowledge to facilitate his influence in decision making and progressing the culture in the society. The attitude is manifests in the labor force where an enormous number of women workforce is concentrated in the low-skilled department due to education hindrance as men take up executive positions capable of exerting authority and make unilateral decisions (Mammen & Paxson, 2000).
Women who abandon their domestic chores and seek employment in the industrial sector face the ridicule of the community and create the notion about her husband as ineffective. Such misguided perceptions evoked the mind of Alfred Marshall who cemented the power of women in education in the society as a complementing factor to economic development. Marshall believed that educating women would shift the supply of labor to higher levels and create an economic balance in a family’s social welfare. If women enrolled unschooled to gain education skills, they would boost the basket of skills in the labor industry, participate in entrepreneurial activities and subsequently increase the household’s consumer income. Consequently, the economic change would ease the responsibility of taking care of the children and maintain a sustainable welfare for the current and future generation. Due to gender discrimination, the decision-making process remained at the discretion of men – a situation that often subjected women to male chauvinism and declaration of self-interested resolutions at the expense of women rights to freedom of expression.
In another perspective, the definition of a woman in the society is linked to the source of livelihood in the society with respect to childbirth and taking care of the children until they attained adulthood as well as overall care over elderly parents in the society. On the other hand, men were confined with the responsibility of working to feed the family and sustain their social welfare. The concept of women as mothers remains as an integral part of the society ; thus most women face the impediment of joining the labor force to assists the husband in raising the family’s income. The subordination of women to the husband renders the female gender helpless in terms of decision making as men exercise their authority and dictate the limits of women’s role in the society. In as much as women exert their effort in taking care of the children and the elderly, there has been little recognition in their effort due its immunity from market forces. Lack of goodwill in the society to appreciate the responsibility of care is attributed to the women’s social-economic dilemma and their inability to influence the social and political policies that would steer equal rights provision between the male and female gender.
Nancy Folbres countered the prevailing notion of care as a misleading concept passed by time and socially discriminative to women. Care in the society is confined to child breastfeeding, teaching moral virtues, as well as the elderly. The responsibility is undermined and viewed as having little or no economic value to the country (Folbres, 2006). Nonetheless, care for the children is the foundation of life and economic progress and social growth since the children gain health, moral virtues and develop the ability to participate in the labor force for self-sustenance. Nancy Folbres fronts a counter argument to challenge the misconception and utters that care is a universal responsibility with no gender boundaries thus every individual has a responsibility to promote the equitable care for the young children and the elderly (Folbres, 2006).
Moreover, she asserted the definition of care as not limited to domestic work that is unpaid but rather accommodates the economic role that women can play to empower men in reinforcing social welfare in the family. It’s only through collective action and establishment of a shared value responsibility that women will attain an equal level with the male counterparts and hence create a path for women to demonstrate their equal capacity in the labor force. Care extends beyond the usual unpaid roles such as feeding the family, nurturing babies and the regular routines of overseeing the peaceful coexistence in the family- issues that are often overlooked and unappreciated. Instead, the contribution of women to economic empowerment in the family by joining the labor force falls within the boundaries of care.
Outstandingly, women face the dilemma of balancing between family responsibility and career growth. Approximately half of the women population in the labor force consists of unmarried women, divorcees and married women with children within  the age of six and seventeen years. The statistics portray the indifference situation women encounter in life at the authoritative attitude of men and the society. The female gender has little say in self-growth and has an obligation to consult the husband to seek consent. As a result, men capitalize on of ’s to curtail women progress in the social-economic world.
It is prime time for the society to raise and defend the noble course of women in caring for the society and accommodate the concept of women’s work as a universal practice that poses a direct and indirect impact to social development . For a long time, the female gender has suffered from biased social networks that have derailed their ability to exploit talent and skills in the labor force towards building a sustainable care for the family (Stoloff, Glanville, & Bienenstock, 2000). The unconventional concept of women’s work is a significant impediment to social and economic growth and an infringement of the women’s freedom of expression. With the current variations in economic change, reservation of men’s role as the sole provider for the family could be unsustainable in the long-term. Hence, it would be paramount if the society relaxed its stance on women subordination to discriminative cultural practices and instead established policies that guide women in their banking approach between family roles and joining the labor force.
Further, the society must appreciate the care provided by women, through motivation and economic empowerment to inhibit the foreseeable shift of child care as a profit making initiative. Care is the basis of growth in the economy and, therefore, logic to presume that women serve as the pillar of a society. Thou there are naturally distinct jobs reserved for women such as breastfeeding, there exist no criteria to distinguish the capabilities of men and women in the society. Women can equally work in the industry and deliver better output than men while still balancing the family care responsibility. Thus the concept of women’s work serves as an enlighten on what the society perceives as it would create if women emerged from the cultural confinement and embraced the new face of social and economic change.
The two articles “Women and economic development” and “women participation in the labor force” portray the statistical presentation of women engaging in paying jobs and the hindrances by social networks and cultural values in gaining economic empowerment and the social freedom to exercise the rightful duties of care and personal development.
Conclusively, women ‘s commitment to care without pay is an enlighten to the society that gender discrimination on responsibilities is detrimental to the future generation hence there is need to raise awareness on the rights of women to access education, participate in decision making and seek employment to contribute to the global economic growth on wealth distribution and household income. Men and women have a collective responsibility to exercise care for the children and the family through social and economic channels without bias on gender and cultural tenets.


Folbres, N. (2006). Measuring care: Gender, empowerment, and the care economy. Journal of human development, 7(2), 183-199.
Mammen, K., & Paxson, C. (2000). Women's work and economic development.The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 141-164.
Stoloff, J. A., Glanville, J. L., & Bienenstock, E. J. (2000). Women's participation in the labor force: the role of social networks. Social networks,21(1), 91-108.
Tatalovich, A. (2004). John Stuart Mill: The subjection of women: An analysis.John Stuart Mill: Critical Assessments, 4(1), 278.
Women in the labor force: A Databook (1049). (2014). Retrieved from US Bureau of Labor Statistics website: http://www.bls.gov

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