United States was once a heaven for the women of working age in terms of job. But at the present time, the country is on equal standards as countries still coping with discrimination against the fairer gender like Japan. Countries like Canada and Europe have a much higher rate of women employment that the United States. A recent report shows that America has one of the least numbers of employed women of working age as compared to most of the developed world.
The picture gets worse when seen from a broader perspective. A recent report released by the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development shows that the United States is above only a handful of ‘rich countries’ with developed economy in terms of likeliness of a prime age woman between the ages of 25 and 55 being employed. These countries are either struggling with a strong patriarchal society like South Korea or are still recovering from a massive economic crisis like Spain, Italy, Ireland and Greece. An even more shameful fact is that there is a total of eighteen countries over the United States in this report.
This doesn’t come as much of a surprise to the Americans though, may it be the public or the authorities. With a public policy as hostile towards women and their families as it is in the States, they shouldn’t expect much else. One thing the Corporate America fails to understand is the need for a woman to manage both work and her family simultaneously. They keep on decreasing protection for part time workers, forcing women either to work full time and ignore their children or to not work at all. Obviously, more often than not, the women choose the latter. They don’t guarantee a paid leave for the new mothers, which again make it very tough for such women to keep their jobs. When compared to the public policy towards women in Europe, the economists believe America stands to improve more than 7 per cent if they apply the same to their country.
Everything isn’t that bad in the American market though, as it might look from the above data. Even though the participation of women in the United States is relatively low in part time jobs when compared to Europe, it still has a higher participation in the management due to non-encouragement of part time jobs in Europe. Europe on the other hand struggles with more and more women interested to only work as part time workers and hence jeopardising their career and their chance to move up to the management. Hence, even though the statistics put the States at par with countries like Japan in terms of women in the labour force, it would be wrong to compare the overall position of the States with such countries.
But when viewed in terms of the whole world, the United Stated of America still lacks the perfect balance that various countries around the world have successfully achieved. One such country the States stand to take inspiration from is France, it has a much higher rate of participation of women in the part time work (a whopping 22 per cent) when compared to the United States of America (just over 16 per cent). At the same time, it doesn’t lag behind in terms of the women working full time, due to its culture of most women working overall. This perfect blend is hard to achieve, but once done, it is much easier to get rid of the discrimination prevalent in females at work places. France has managed to bring the wage gap between the two genders to a minimal with more and more women employed in the economy. In fact, it doesn’t just have a smaller wage gap than the United Stated alone. It leaves behind the best of the competitors in this arena, like the European countries (like Germany and Sweden). France also boasts a higher percentage of women in managerial positions in the economy than any other rich country in the world.
The most interesting fact is that even with all this, the French women are known to have more kids than the American counter parts, according to the recent census of the countries.