Editor, The Beacon:

The United States began to truly address expanding women’s workplace and reproductive opportunities in the 1950s and 1960s just as the electronic revolution transformed business and industry. Traditionally heavy work still exists, but much skilled work requires education and technical chops that women are equipped to handle.

The workforce expanded to include women in every field. Access to ways of pacing one’s family life opened up most fields to women.

Women between their late teens and early 50s make up about 20 percent of Americans and about half of potential workers.

It’s no coincidence that the extraordinary flow of women into the workplace over the past 50 years has contributed to an economic boom that has taken the U.S. to its robust and continuing rise in gross domestic product.

Now, legislatures, often in less prosperous parts of the country, are attempting to restrict the range of options for many American women. Importantly, the precise demography of women who are affected matches the women who should be afforded the most options for shaping their own lives. They ought to have better educational opportunities, better jobs that lead to better salaries and paths to exercise their ingenuity or develop their skills.

Some people seem to think that limiting options for young women will make our country a better place. On the contrary, heavy-handed unpopular legislation fences in women just when they can make something better of their entire life span.

The shortsighted insistence that others — especially politically enthralled men — should be imposing heavy burdens on women is undemocratic to the point of being medieval.

Joan Carter



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