The deteriorating economic situation threatens even the small gains made in the fight against sex and racial discrimination in employment. As usual, women and minorities are the last hired and the first fired. Already unemployment is 33% higher for women than men and 2.5 times higher for female heads of families than male heads of families.

   Also, women number 70% of the 1 million who have stopped looking for jobs out of discouragement. And it's going to get worse.


   Only 15% of working women are unionized and even those are subject to the sexism of the unions and the seniority system.

   If we buy the propaganda, as we did after WWII, that we should return home and give the jobs to men who "really" need them, then we are lost. We are more than a surplus reserve in the labor market. Most women work out of economic necessity. Our families depend on us, too. We must continue to fight for our right to a decent job.

   However, there is a danger whenever there aren't enough jobs to go around, (and there never are, even when times are "good") that women will be pitted against men, blacks against whites, and old against young as we scramble for the few crumbs allowed us.

   We should direct our frustration at the source of the problem -- a government that can't provide jobs for all who want or need them. Fair employment is obviously impossible without full employment.


back to top