In the United States, women have started to enjoy their rights only recently, as for many years after the independence from the British women still did not hold the same rights as men.
For example, women in the mid 20th century were not allowed to vote, and even when they were this decision received much resistance from men. Once women achieved the power of suffrage, they then had to fight for the right to work. Still, in the late 50s, women were expected to know all there was to know about sewing and their place was considered to be at home with their household tasks.
It is fundamental to know where women came from in order to see where women are going in the future, as until the mid 1900's, women had very few political rights. Women were not allowed to vote until Susan B. Anthony helped encourage women to fight for their rights in the political arena. Finally, women did earn the right to vote, but not much else came with that right.
Even after this right was earned, women were still expected to continue with the traditional gender roles that had already been established; however, the right to vote gave way to the next big women's movement which would come in the 1960's.
The women's liberation movement was an important part of women's history in the United States. This was the period when women began to demand to be treated equally to men in the workplace and also to have the same opportunities as men at work.
This movement helped women understand they were capable of being more than just the lower ranks of the business world. Women began to have more confidence and realized that they could earn a degree and become doctors, lawyers, and even CEO's in their fields, just as men could.
Women in the United States started getting more educated in order to compete for jobs that were once only for men. Partly because of this 1960's movement, more women today are getting better and higher education, and they are working top-level jobs outside of the home.
Now, more than ever, there is a lot of pressure on women to be good mothers and good employees. There is a double standard for many women in society because now, not only are they expected to be good, full-time mothers, they are also expected to contribute to the household income by performing some kind of work outside of the home.
With current trends, women are really starting to put their careers first and then wait until they are older to have children, so they feel better about either giving up their careers completely or just taking a cut in work hours.