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.