Cases of gender segregation are high in the labor market as it is fueled by discriminatory and gendered assumptions and practices. The market of labor does not match the “gender factory” for the purposes devaluing of work done by women and reproduction of institutionalized gender division of labor. This study will aim to explore the impact caused by the women workers entry into the paid job on the general gender segregation in the work place. This will ultimately indicate the dynamism and the changing characteristics of gender disparity.
Gender inequality is majorly characterized by gender division in the market of labor, both in the social construction aspect and the economic aspect of gender identities. Undergirding of all structures of gender stratification is evidence of division in the labor market based on gender, whereby women are majorly responsible for different tasks more than men. Even though the first-hand literature on gender based mode of division of labor is uneasily divided among those who study gender disparity and those examining the division of labor in the house environment, in the United States the overall analysis of gender division in the labor market has not been given a consideration in the empirical studies.
The major problem that is evidenced in the separate studies on occupational segregation and gender division in housework is that the dynamic relation of the two cannot be vividly drawn. The research will aim to merge the division in the labor market and at the household level into on in partial endeavor to fashion a levelled measure of the disparity in labor for a single period of time in labor history. The results obtained from the research will lay emphasis on the significance of the movement of the women labor to the labor market from the household in minimizing cases of gender disparity.
Several pieces of research work indicate that females perform much work that is unpaid within the household setup. Though the trends in the past show a reasonable decreases in the recent decades, the division in the household remain highly influenced by gender based factors. In the labor market, the levels of gender segregation remain high too though after apparent stability in half a century, declines were realized in 1980s and 1970s (Reskin, 1984). It is evident that the change in the two fields is connected. However the connection is seldom the topic of a direct scrutiny. The entrance of a greater number of women in the work force was as a result of products, household services and women’s housework was reduced by technology which in turn increased the levels of demand of the women in the labor market. This movement of women from care work within the house environment to the labor market epitomizes a very important shift. Even though the society has not reached a point of eliminating the house as a workplace for women and the house wife as a main functional group of the population, we have undoubtedly made a crucial step towards realizing our collective objective.
Currently, more women folk are likely to get employment in the labor market. The segregation that is witnessed in the scenario of paid workers has heightened in importance as a portion of gender disparity and has increased the need to have gender equality exercised in the labor market. It has been argued for a long time that the long standing assumption has been that occupations are the fundamentals of the class stratification structure, however with the increasing numbers of women entering into the formal economy, occupational systems become the main focus of stratification of gender too. This justifies the deductions of a body of research in the recent past on the issue of the shift to the labor market from home, which emphasized on the continuity of segregation based on gender in the new perspective of the market of labor.
The research will try to answer several question posed by individuals with concerns in the issue of gender parity. Are there clear connections between the occupation that are female dominated in the market of labor and the ones that are female dominated at the household level? It would be untrue to disregard the two scenarios entirely as it can be observed that the number of the well paid female dominated jobs are few as compared to the number of the female dominated jobs in the home. The research will aim to answer the question of connection between these two arenas vividly. The question of the mode of reproduction of gender parity while considering the paid and the unpaid jobs will be answered. Many researchers involved in the study of segregation in the paid occupations are only theoretically concerned with the general gender division of work. They review data combining both unpaid and paid labor but examines the paid work only in the data analysis part. Women tend to revolve around occupations that are less or more female dominated in their career duration. Can the “revolving door” that reflects the movement of female from the female-dominated occupations, really be broadened to encompass the housework occupations? It is postulated that reproduction of gender is continually done by processes that have social bearing that outlines female-dominated and male-dominated other that the taste of women for a given job. Can the most precise measure of segregation be arrived at? How many women and men would have to migrate to other occupations so as to realize equal distribution of women and men in the various occupations?
Studies done by previous researchers on the trends in the occupational segregation treat women who get into the market as though they were just beginning to work. In their cases, the level of segregation is evaluated only in the capacity of the work paid. In this research analysis, women who gain entry into the labor market from home will be treated as those exchanging jobs. This method raises different definite problems though it is advantageous as it gives a chance to see the part played by women in heightening participation in the general division of labor based on gender.
The methods of data analysis will be composed of three major parts. The labor force data will be recorded for the respondents in the CPS to incorporate the ones who were recorded as keeping the house. Then keeping the house will be coded as an occupation. Gender segregation levels will then be calculated while leaving out the keeping house occupation over the period from 1972 to 1993 when the question was dropped. Secondly, by using the one year longitudinal property of CPS, the “revolving door” that indicate the transition of women from various female dominated jobs will be broadened to include the occupation in the house. This will ensure that the composition of gender in occupations that the females enter into when they shift between paid labor and house work is clearly seen. Finally the trends will be decomposed to indicate the relative contribution to desegregation of females when they are entering into the paid occupations verses paid labor becoming less separated.
The data to be used will be from the CPS Demographic Files as at March. This is a wide national representative survey that is conducted by the census bureau monthly to measure the characteristics of the workforce. The sample that I will use will include the non-institutionalized civilian adults of ages between 25 and 54 years. This age group will be applied to all analysis except for the longitudinal analysis that will incorporate women of ages between 18 to 64 years. The samples are expected to be large but the years will be pooled at each point so as to reduce fluctuations that may occur due to unsystematic variation. The person weight that will be provided in the CPS will be used.
All the people who answers the major activity question as “keeping the house” will be coded as working and also included in the new analysis of professional segregation.
In bid to obtain the degree of division of labor, the index of dissimilarity will be used to estimate occupational segregation. The number obtained will indicate the percentage of either women or men who would have to change professions so as to achieve an equal distribution of women and men distribution in various occupations.
The one year longitudinal property of the CPS will be used in analyzing the movement of women into paid occupations from housework and vice versa and how it impacts on the gender-based division of labor. The longitudinal analysis will be conducted by the use of the 1991-1993 CPS of the month of March. Combination of three years will be done so as to increase the sample size. Matching of individuals will be done by use of individual line number and household number and made inclusive incase the individuals are of the race, aged between 1 and three years at the intervention time and are of the same sex.
Finally, a simple decomposition of the trend of desegregation will be done. Estimation of the levels of segregation will be done while holding constant the proportion of women and men keeping house while letting the spread of women and men over the highest 100 paid jobs vary throughout the period. Afterwards, a repeat of the exercise while holding constant the spread of women and men in the top 100 largest occupations and letting only the fraction keeping house vary with time will be done.
The method that will be used will bare certain limitations. The most likely disadvantage is that an assumption is made. If everyone is to be in only one occupation no one may have to be doing the paid occupation and the keeping house. This method therefore will fail to capture the division of labor in the household past a simple measure as to whether a respondent is doing a house hold job. The problem of overlap between paid occupations and keeping house may also arise. Identification of some house workers will be at least better that exclusion of all of them from the analysis that will be carried out. Another problem that may be experienced could arise from the social desirability when identifying those who do house-keeping. In the reviews of data in the past by researchers, they noted that some women may have identified themselves as house wives because the traditions influenced that into believing that their primary identity is a house wife. Though substantive evidence was not presented to confirm such a suspicion hence evaluation could be impossible.
Though the method may not be fully perfect it can still serve the purpose of correcting the existing studies on occupational segregation hence taking us to the direction of trying to estimate the overall gender-based division of work.
Jacobs, J. A. (1995). Gender Stereotypes. Gender inequality at work (p. 399). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: Sage Publications.
Reskin, B. F. (1984). Introduction. Sex segregation in the workplace: trends, explanations, remedies (pp. 3-5). Washington, D.C.: National Academy Press.