Before the Second World War, the distribution of duties between men and women in the United States was clear: men were engaged in masculine jobs that involved physical work or stress, while women mostly performed tasks that were linked with their nature of caring and kind human beings. Such occupations as a lawyer or judge were considered unacceptable for women due to gender prejudice and the perception of women as housewives who could only perform simple duties and take care of households and children.
However, after the war, this vision changed, mainly because most of the working male population was involved in military actions, and women had to step up and perform their work. In addition, the technological developments of the 20th century made household duties a lot easier with the development of such tools as washing machines, dishwashers, etc. Women became more confident about their rights and opportunities, and began to devote more time to education, self-development and pursued careers that were considered unusual for their gender. Nevertheless, the perception of a housewife was still strong in the minds of many men, and women.
The second half or the 20th century saw a rise in the supporters of equal rights for men and women. The society finally accepted the fact that women can make their life choices regarding education, jobs, career, and marital status. More women started to undertake such occupations as lawyer, police officer, or judge. Many of them pursued a career in business. However, gender discrimination appeared to be tough to tackle. Even today, statistics prove that women are paid less than their male colleagues, they have limited opportunities for career growth and rarely occupy leadership positions. Therefore, the social changes that took place in the 20th opened many opportunities for women, yet many of the obstacles remain.