Women in the USA

Women in the USA are equal to men. But there are many ways in which men and women’s life experiences are different. Read about women’s rights, clothing, and abuse of women. Learn about women’s experiences at work, in the home and with having children.

A gray haired woman wearing a gray coat smiling at the camera- women in the USA
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The way women are treated now is very different than it was about 50 years ago. Back then, women stayed at home with the children and men went to work. Between the late 1960s and early 1980s, women fought to be treated equally. They brought attention to sexism, which is the preferred treatment of men. Women marched in the streets in protest. They fought to change important laws about abortion and rape. They created and shared art and music about their experience as women. This was called the Women’s Liberation Movement. It changed how women were treated in the USA.

Equal rights

In American society, women are equals and have the same rights as men. Women can have the same jobs as men. Women have been able to vote in the United States since 1920. Women can serve as elected officials and can own property. They can serve in the military. But there is still a lack of women in leadership positions. Women make up 51% of the population. But a woman has never been president. Only 19% of Congress (a part of the federal government) and 21% of legislators (a type of political leader) are women.  This can be harmful to women’s rights. Sometimes decisions that affect women’s health and personal choices are made by mostly men.

Women at work

American women are an important part of the workforce. They make up almost 50% of the workers. Women work in all types of jobs. There are no jobs that are only for men or only for women. You may have a female boss. This is difficult for some refugees and immigrants if they have never had a woman in charge at work before. But to get a job in the USA, you must be qualified for the position. This means whoever is the boss had to apply and interview for the job. If you have a boss who is not very good, it is not because they are a man or a woman, but because they lack the necessary skills.

However, this does not mean women have complete equality with men. There are far fewer female company directors than male company directors. Women usually earn less than men. This is true even when they are working in the same job. Women sometimes do not get the promotions they deserve.

Many American women also struggle with work-life balance. For example, they have a difficult time working while also taking care of their families. Read more about women at work.

Women at home

American men and women typically share duties and chores in the household. In a family, the man and the woman might both work outside of the home. In about half of the homes in the USA, both parents work full-time jobs. At home, the mother and father often both do laundry, dishes, cooking, and take care of the children. Read more about parenting in the USA.

When women have children, they get time off of work. This is called maternity leave. Most women get 3 months of unpaid leave from work. Some companies pay employees a part of their salary. After their maternity leave is over, American women go back to work. They often pay for childcare for their babies and children while they work.

Abuse of women

Some American women also face domestic violence or abuse from their partners. About a third of women say that they have been abused. It may be more, as many women are scared or embarrassed to talk about abuse. Abuse of and violence against women, men, or children is illegal. If someone is convicted of abuse, they might go to jail. Learn about US laws.

If you are in a relationship and being abused by your partner, you can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help 24 hours a day. You do not have to give your name.

Women’s clothing

Women in the USA may dress differently from women in other cultures. They may, for example, wear pants or they may wear clothing that shows their skin. In the USA, wearing revealing clothing does not reflect poorly on a woman. It also does not mean anything about the woman’s character. Women usually buy clothes from stores. They do not sow them themselves and do not have them sewn professionally. This happens only for special occasions. Women usually affordable clothes and replace them within a few years.

Overall, the clothing style in the USA is casual. Many women and men wear jeans most days. Some women do not dress up outside of work or special occasions. Some workplaces in the US are casual too, especially in cities. Sometimes, younger people may even wear sweats to work or school.

Learn more

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