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Traditional Roles for Woman, and Why They Have Changed

Updated on December 24, 2017

Over the last 25 years gender norms have shifted. The traditional roles and oppression society has placed on women are now fading into a career driven culture. A woman’s identity was often summed up in her homemaking, and child rearing. Assertive career driven women were looked at like they were less intelligent than their male counterparts and often had to fight for equality. In traditional roles, the women heavily depend on men, to be the dominant financial provider. Often having needs and wants oppressed and controlled. Pursuing active careers increase independence, and strengthens the world’s economy

Pursuing a Career and Benefits Identified.

The traditional role of women in the home is to run a successful, happy household with ever present grace, and finesse. The home is to be a woman’s pride and joy, and her success as a homemaker defines the success of her character. Many woman in traditional settings can feel bored and listless. A recent Gallup analysis of more than 60,000 U.S. women interviewed in 2012 showed that Stay-at-home women, at all income levels are worse off than employed females in terms of sadness, anger, and depression, though they are the same as other women in most other aspects of emotional well being. Pursuing a career increases an independent identity, with opportunities for achievements and fulfillment for women. There is much higher ratio of women pursuing careers now than 25 years ago, as the benefit of increased emotional well being has been identified.

Gender Pay and Equality

The percentage of working women in Canada has increased from about 42% to almost 60% over the last 30 years.Gender bias in the workplace was a societal problem that held a lot of woman back from working, and pursuing goals outside the home. The Gender wage gap is complex and results from a variety of factors.

First, traditional “women’s work” pays less than traditional “men’s work.” Women earn roughly 72 cents for every dollar her male equivalent makes. Statistics show women employees are more concentrated in the lesser paid fields of work, Women work in a narrower range of occupations than men and have high representation in the 20 lowest-paid occupations. About two-thirds of the female work force are concentrated in teaching, nursing, and health care, office and administrative work, and sales and service industries.

Another factor is the statistic that shows that more women than men work part-time, 70% of part-time employees , in Canada, in 2013 were female.Women working part-time or temporary jobs are much less likely to receive promotions and training than those in full-time jobs. Women work part-time for several reasons, including lack of affordable child care and family leave policies, along with social pressure to carry the bulk of domestic responsibilities. These factors make it more likely for women to have interruptions in employment, which has a negative effect on income.

In the last 25 years society has shed light on the inequality in the work force, and has come a long way in ensuring equal rights and opportunities for both genders. There still clearly are issues regarding pay differences, but society is progressing. This positively encourages women to pursue careers, knowing they are valued, and appreciated and are actually allowed to contribute to societies progression.

Financial Freedom and Economic Value

Investing in women’s economic empowerment sets a direct path towards gender equality, poverty eradication and inclusive economic growth. Women make enormous contributions to economies, whether in businesses, on farms, as entrepreneurs or employees, or by doing unpaid care work at home. Pursuing a career leads to financial freedom, and consumer independence. Women in traditional roles have to rely on their partner financially for all consumption. This leads to a form of control, whether abused or not by the working partner in the dynamic. When women pursue their own careers, they get an active say in how their money is spent or saved. When women join the workforce, they add to the amount of consumers and producers in the world, strengthening and balancing the world’s economy. The increase of "manpower" and independent spending also strengthens the economy by creating a healthy competition between companies to become more efficient and innovative subsequently expanding individual’s choices in the market. Financial female independence and a strong economy ultimately go hand in hand.


The traditional role for women, while still enjoyed and chosen by many woman in today’s society has progressively changed because it had no choice but to. We collectively recognize woman joining the workforce and pursuing careers has led to nothing but positive results and upward equality movement between a balanced life, and economy.

**This essay is not meant to offend anyone, or express distaste for modern day homemakers. It is simply meant to explain the trend of higher statistics of woman in the current workforce. **

Personal Preferences.

In an ideal world, would you rather be a homemaker or work out of the home?

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    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 2 months ago from Ontario, Canada

      Happily, we're both retired now so this is no longer an issue. However, many women and myself included often sacrifice their own jobs for that of their husbands.

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 14 months ago

      RockerGinger, You hit the nail on the head when you said;

      "...if my partner and I were living together and {unhappy}."

      One only feels "trapped" or "controlled" if they're {unhappy}.

      " If I left, my salary is nowhere near enough to live off of"

      Some folks eek by living on minimum wage or work two jobs. What keeps many people from walking away from unhappy marriages is because they're not willing to lower their living standards even temporarily.

      I imagine there are lots of couples who are only one winning lotto ticket away from getting divorced! :)

      In the meantime many of them opt to cheat if they are unhappy.

      It's their way of addressing their other needs without lowering their living standards. Most cheaters don't believe they will get caught.

      Ultimately whether a woman is traditional or progressive being (happy) makes all the difference!

    • RockerGinger profile image

      Sarah Jason 14 months ago from Vermont

      In response to the the previous comment, I can imagine feeling a sense of control if my partner and I were living together and unhappy. If such were true in my marriage, my husband is by far the bread winner. If I left, my salary is nowhere near enough to live off of. So I can understand feeling trapped. I'm also a strong believer in the role of the homemaker, especially if there are children. I'm going back to school and starting a family, so I'm very okay with my place being at home for a while.

      This was a very good read, very informative and well worded. Here-here to the ladies!

    • dashingscorpio profile image

      dashingscorpio 14 months ago

      "Woman in traditional roles have to rely on their partner financially for all consumption. This leads to a form of control, {whether abused or not} by the working partner in the dynamic." - Not necessarily!

      If a couple is content with the "traditional roles" and view their marriage as a (team effort) filled with love and respect for one another then there is no perception of being "controlled".

      In fact during previous eras in the U.S. the men actually handed over their paychecks to their wives who then give some "spending money".

      The women handled paying the bills, buying groceries, and savings.

      It wasn't uncommon for some women to show up at their husband's place of employment at lunchtime on payday to pickup his paycheck.

      This was especially true of "blue collar" workers.

      In such a scenario it would difficult to say who is "controlling" whom.

      Having said that I believe it's been a good thing for women to pursue careers. Today for example in the U.S. we have women who are CEOs of Fortune 500 companies such as IBM, General Motors, Xerox, Oracle Software, Pepsi, and Hewett Packard just to name a few. We also have women senators, congresswomen, mayors, and governors. There are also self-made Billionaires like Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart along with several female multi-millionaires.

      The biggest effect of women in the workplace has probably been felt with the soaring divorce rates.

      Back in the 1950s and prior most likely unhappily married women who were depended on their husband's income more likely to stay in the marriage.

      Today in the U.S. 66% or 2/3rds of all divorce filings are initiated by (women).

      The more options one has the less crap they'll put up with! :)