by Diane Vacca, for Women's Voices For Change
Eager to see what the Shriver Report has to say about women over 50, I paged through my electronic copy, wishing in my over-50 way that I had physical pages to flip and leaf through. But despite my failure to find any chapter or essay specifically dedicated to those of us who remember only too well the plight of women that Betty Friedan described so well in 1963, I could not stop reading. The study codifies what many of us know to be true, and it also reveals facts about American society that both encourage and dismay. The statistics are eye-openers; they describe a social landscape much changed in fifty years. In 1969, a third of all workers were women. Now the labor force is 50 percent female.
Heather Boushey, an expert on women and workforce issues and an editor of the Report, calls this change “certifiably revolutionary—perhaps the greatest social transformation of our time.” As Gloria Steinem writes, “it should end forever the debate about women's place in the labor force; women are the labor force.”
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