At long last

After eons of being treated as second class citizens (or worse), women at long last are being treated more fairly. The future of our economy looks better owing to that change.
Girls now do better than boys at school, more women are getting university degrees than men, and women are able to fill most jobs, even in the military. Nowadays women, coming into their own, are a very powerful factor in our economic growth. That is an unqualified plus.
Immediately after the Second World War only one-third or fewer of Canadian women of working age had a paid job outside their home. Currently, about two-thirds do, and women make up approximately one-half of the Canadian workforce. The employment rate of men has fallen over the past few decades by about 10 per cent, while for women it has been climbing steadily. Still, too many of the top jobs are held by men, and women have not closed the pay gap with men, although it has been reduced.
The big shift in the type of jobs available has been responsible for much of the change. Manufacturing jobs, traditionally filled by men, have declined along with a decrease in some "heavy" work such as mining. Work in the service sector has expanded exponentially, more than counterbalancing the fall in the demand for manual labour.
It must be recognized, however, that of course women always have worked, although not necessarily at formal employment. In some ways women hitherto worked harder and longer hours, looking after children, cleaning, or cooking, or in rural areas as well participating in all the chores connected with farming.
To an important extent, the increase in women’s paid employment outside of the home has entailed fewer hours at housework.
The increased productivity because of appliances, such as washing machines, dishwashers, and the like has reduced the need and value of housework as such. Furthermore, the service industry now performs some of the work formerly undertaken by women at home, for instance, laundry or various cleaning tasks.
Yet, most working women are obligated for the bulk of duties in their homes.
If one were to assume the worth of housework at the average wage rates of all employees, women probably are responsible for more than half of total GDP.
Women are becoming ever more important in the economy, not just as consumers, but as investors and entrepreneurs. They seem to show more common sense than their male counterparts in those activities.
At this stage, women are not yet fully utilized. As we make better use of their skills and qualifications, they can and will boost the economy very significantly.

Bruce Whitestone