Although it is more than 30 years since equal opportunities laws were enacted in Britain and the United States, there is still a marked correlation between motherhood and discrimination in the labor market. This entry explains how working mothers have historically been constrained by expectations that “good” mothers should focus on childcare and housework rather than paid work. It explains how today's working mothers are still oppressed by what is termed the Institution of Motherhood. This is because social views on the maternal role remain persistently unchanged. In addition, the entry observes how many working mothers are treated unfairly in their jobs, are unsupported by their employers, and are paid less than men in equivalent roles.

Historical Overview of Working Motherhood

During the 1970s, the issue ...

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