A Woman’s Nation: A new report from Maria Shriver tells us just how much women’s lives have changed
Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress commissioned a study of the state of women today – their work life and their home life.
Through polling and interviews, the partnership has produced a VERY meaty report called “A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything.” Time Magazine and NBC news outlets have been reporting the results of this study all week. There is also a Web site with all the findings.
Here is the web site The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything
Here is the link to NBC news with videos from the Today Show and MSNBC.
We can’t deal with the whole report at once so here are few highlights to start us off:
From Maria Shriver’s opening essay:
- … fully HALF of U.S. workers are female—and mothers have become the primary breadwinners in 4 in 10 American families.
- Half of all families rely on the earnings of two parents and in more than 20 percent of all families a single mother is the primary breadwinner.
- Seventy percent of families with kids include a working mother.
- Shriver says “And more and more of them, like me, are moving into what I call ‘the squeezed generation,’ caring for both kids and our own aging parents.’”
(Shriver found that caring for elderly family members is becoming a huge issue for families.)
- …Today, women now earn 60 percent of the college degrees awarded each year and fully half of the Ph.D.s and the professional degrees.
- Almost 40 percent of working women hold managerial and other professional positions.
- Women make 80 percent of the buying decisions in American homes.
- “Virtually all married couples told the pollsters they’re negotiating the rules of their relationships, work, and family. An overwhelming majority of both men and women said they’re sitting down at their kitchen tables to coordinate their family’s schedules, duties, and responsibilities, including child care and elder care, at least two to three times a week. Men said it was more like every day!”
- “In the Rockefeller/Time poll, more than three-quarters of both men and women agreed that the increased participation of women in the workforce is a positive change for society. Both sexes also agreed that men are becoming more financially dependent on women. And both women and men said they’re still adjusting their lives, their expectations, and their assumptions to the change.”
Some interesting stats from Tuesday’s Today Show with Shriver:
- 86 percent of women who work feel like the majority of housework and childcare still falls on them!
However, Dad are helping more.
- Since the 1960s, men helping with housework has jumped from 15 percent to 30 percent.
- Since the 1960s, men helping with childcare has tripled!
- However, 70 percent of women polled said they feel like they alone are responsible for childcare and eldercare. (There seems to be a disconnect in how much women think men are helping or in how much men are reporting they are helping.)
What do you make of this study?
Are you working? Are you the primary breadwinner? How has that affected your family life or your relationship with your husband?
What do you make of women earning 60 percent of the college degrees each year?
What is the work split at home for housework? For childcare? For eldercare?
Is eldercare becoming a big issue for you?