That was 1970 and lots had happened to women between mom's first teaching job and the next.
Some things about the world of work for women have changed a great deal since this photo was taken. For one, most mothers work now. Often out of necessity if not out of a desire to lead purposeful lives beyond the rearing of children.
But here are things that have not changed since I became a working mother in 1979:
- Women are still paid less than men for equal work.
- Women still find it extremely difficult to find reliable day care.
- Women and children still comprise the majority of those in poverty.
- A woman's ability to save and earn for retirement are often reduced because of time out of the workforce while rearing children.
However, women are the warp and woof of the fabric that holds our nation together, still largely responsible for raising and nurturing the generations to come. Women comprise 90% of registered nurses and 80% of elementary and middle school teachers. Women still bear the burden of raising the children and maintaining the household even if both partners in a marriage work.
Whether or not you feel women who work is a good idea, the fact remains that those who do not work risk facing a life of poverty in their old age. Those who earn less in their productive years have less to rely on as they age. And those who have given over their adult professional lives to working with children are facing the loss of pensions and earnings they anticipated as a safety net in the last years of their lives.
Love your mother. Encourage national policies that reflect your moral principles: Ensure a life of dignity and safety for women and children.