In Voices of Freedom 175, why did NOW feel that women’s place in society was on the decline in 1966?

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Voices of Freedom, a collection of writings from various authors who give their opinions on social issues, showcased a section from NOW, The National Organization for Women. NOW believed that the place of women in society had been declining because women are not properly recognized for the contributions that they make in society, given that they comprised over half of the population in 1966. Compared to the lives of women from the early 1900s, many more women worked outside the home in various jobs by 1966, but they held jobs of low esteem and low rates of pay compared to most men. And although those jobs were valued less in society compared to jobs which were typically held by men in 1966, NOW believes that women had no real way to move up the ladder and break through the barriers of male dominance in the workforce. So, in 1966, there was a disproportionate amount of women (about seventy-five percent of women by most estimates) working jobs (house cleaners, hospital attendants, clerks, administrative assistants, and secretaries, among others) that were considered less valuable than jobs which were held by men (managers, doctors, lawyers, accountants, and many other esteemed occupations).
Additionally, NOW believed that women only made about sixty percent of the income that men earned for full-time work. Essentially, NOW was arguing that society was not placing a high enough value (which affects rate of pay) on most jobs which were typically held by women in 1966. So NOW wanted society to pay women at rates comparable to the rates men were earning for work that it viewed to be just as valuable as the work men were performing. It is salient to note that NOW was not necessarily arguing for changes in the job roles of women, but rather increases in the pay rates as a reflection of the value of their work in society, which is a different argument entirely.
Furthermore, NOW argued in 1966 that the rapid advancement of technology was making the common roles of women obsolete, and effectively displacing them in society, with no dependable skill set to rely upon in the economy. For instance, women no longer needed to wash dishes or hand wash clothes. Machines were able to do it in 1966. Also, women were living longer in 1966 than in 1906, for example, so they began to devote less time to raising children and more time to working jobs, which diminishes women's value in society as well, according to the text.
All of these factors contributed to the decline of women's place in society in 1966, according to NOW.
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In this document, Betty Friedan, one of the founders of NOW or the National Organization for Women, writes that women's status in society was in decline in the 1960s because women's longer lifespans meant that a small portion of their lives would be devoted to child rearing. However, women's roles in rearing children still meant that they were largely barred from professional opportunities. In addition, Friedan writes that technology has made many of the tasks women used to perform around the home unnecessary, and technology has also made the need for physical strength unnecessary in the workplace. The current economy calls for what she calls "creative intelligence" and for positions that women can fill as easily as men can. 

Friedan states that 46.4% of American women currently work outside the home but that 75% of them work in traditionally female occupations such as clerical jobs, housekeeping, sales, factory jobs, or similar work. African-American women are largely concentrated in the lowest-paid jobs. As a result, women earn only 60% of what men earn for full-time work, and the discrepancy between men's and women's wages has been increasing over the last 25 years. In addition, women are losing ground in managerial and professional jobs, as they comprise only 4% of lawyers and 7% of doctors. For these reasons, women's place in society and the economy was declining, according to Friedan.

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