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Men and Women, Changing Roles

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Men, Women and Changing Roles.

The roles of men and women began to change with the women's movement in the mid-1800s when both by law and by custom, women were considered "nonpersons". Married women for example were prevented by law from inheriting property, from controlling the money they earned or from retaining custody of their children if they were divorced by their husbands. In addition, no woman was allowed to vote on the laws that governed her life. Women's movement has inspired many women to fight for equal rights and treatment in their homes, their personal relationships, and at work.

Women have come a long way in the past 50 years. Today, women are getting married later and giving birth later in life. The traditional roles of the male strong head of household and supportive female began changing. Women took careers (not just jobs), entered politics, started businesses. After World War I a number of countries granted women the right to vote. Twenty years later another war brought major social changes that affected the lives of many men and women. One of the social changes involved women working outside the home. During World War II, large numbers of women entered the job market to do the jobs of the men who have been drafted into military service. A great many of these women became factory workers and they proved themselves to be capable and dependable workers. Today, women have gained more employment and job opportunities, and they hold different jobs and occupations. Women are breaking into male-dominated fields from sports writing to police work to firefighting, though their progress into these male-dominated professions is slow. In addition to entering male-dominated professions, many women are starting their own businesses and operating successful businesses today. Women have advanced to leadership position not only in business, but also in politics. Women have become important political leaders all over the world though politics is still largely a male-dominated world. Women have served as presidents of Ireland, Nicaragua and the Philippines. Many other countries have had female political leaders. Women have served as prime ministers in the United Kingdom, France, and Canada.

The expectations of marriage began to change drastically in the 1960 with the advent of equal rights and women's liberation. Today less than 10 percent of American families have the traditional working father and the mother who stays at home to take care of the children. Many men have to play a more active role in raising their children. Men are becoming more involved in family planning, maternal care and childbirth. Recent research from Norway has revealed an increase in men's participation in domestic activities compared with 20 years ago. Studies in Sweden found that fathers with young children had reduced their working hours during the past decade. The family has changed a lot since women have become so active outside the home. Women have changed their view about relationships too. Many men and women now have what they call "a partnership" or a "50/50 relationship" where instead of men being the boss, the couple makes decisions together.

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