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January 4, 1941

Should Married Women Work?

JAMA. 1941;116(1):86. doi:10.1001/jama.1941.02820010088045

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Married women have always worked. When the tasks moved to the factory and to the office, married women followed them. The depression greatly increased this movement. In 1890 one out of twenty-two married women worked outside the home, but in 1940 the rate is one out of five or six. Among the wellto-do women (who are the ones most opposed in objection to married workers) "there is a lower birth rate than among women in the low income brackets, many of whom are forced to work outside the home....

"High infant mortality rates occur most frequently among working mothers in low-income levels where the birth rate is also high and where married women are forced to do their own housework as well as do hard work in factories or in domestic service....

"Thus the babies whose mothers were employed away from home beginning when the baby was less than 2

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