Workers (Female) Arise!

Workers (Female) Arise!

Girls, you must take this matter to heart seriously now, for you have established a union, and for the first time in woman’s history in the United States, you are placed, and by your own efforts, on a level with men, as far as possible, to obtain wages for your labor. . . . Keep at it now, girls, and you will achieve full and plenteous success. —Susan B. Anthony, at the founding of the Women’s Typographical Union No. 1, 1868

Women workers are equal to men at least in a quantitative sense. Well, almost. There are nearly as many women as men in the work force—about 43 percent of the total. When my mother was 20 years old, in 1920, women came to only 20 percent of the work force. Today, about half of all women between 18 and 65, including those with children, are working. The more education a woman has, the more likely she is to work, probably because she can get a better job and will earn enough to finance child and home care. Women are no longer marginal to the work force; they are in the middle of it, at least in numbers.

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