The contention that women’s roles in having a career results in the creation of a problem with regard to them achieving a balance between their work and lives finds its roots in the rights and equality issues women have faced throughout the ages. The subject is not a contemporary one, although this tends to be the common perception due to scant references to resources dating back centuries as a result of either suppression or the lack of relevant data in books. In fact, such information is available via research in many journals and letters.
The sources of the conception that a woman’s career somehow takes second precedence to being a wife, mother or homemaker are founded in a number of myths, prejudicial thinking, misguided notions and historical contexts that have fostered them as second class citizens. A large percentage of feminists believe that the status of women being regarded as second-class citizens is a result of patriarchy being the foundation that modern society was built upon and that this fostered thinking, attitudes and conceptions that relegated them to secondary roles instead of being regarded as equals.
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The foregoing notion(s) shall be examined from a number of standpoints to clarify the unenlightened views held by some in this regard. The examination will not be conducted from a feminist point of view, nor shall it seek to explain prevailing views, it shall instead present the relevant facts which the conclusions shall be drawn from. The simple truth is that women have been balancing multiple roles through history and the insertion of the role of career can be equated to any number of functions that they have performed and accomplished.
Chapter 1 – Introduction
In order to set the context for the discussion regarding the contention that women’s roles in having careers poses a problem in their achieving balance between work and life, the first salient fact that needs tube established is that women constitute 3,209,000,000 of the world’s total population estimate of 6,477,450,857 (Population Reference Bureau, 2006). This means that the under utilization of women represents a 50% reduction in the number of available individuals that can make a contribution in professional terms.
Chart 1 – Education Variables – Women (Population Reference Bureau, 2006) Demographic Variable Country Data Women All Ages, 2005 World 3,209,000,000
All Educational Variables Literacy Women as % of Literate Men, Ages 15-24, 2000-04 World 92 Secondary School Enrolment, Female, 2000-03 (as % of school-age enrolment) World 93
As the preceding chart indicates, the slight difference in overall literacy rates does not put women at a disadvantage in terms of educational qualifications, yet their unemployment rate remains considerably higher proportionally. As shown from the following chart,