ABSTRACT

This chapter focuses on women's experience of midlife. The author considers the midlife crisis an important juncture, leading to increased assertiveness, responsiveness, and independence. Women in midlife face great challenges entering, remaining, and succeeding in the workplace. Some of these challenges include pay inequality, age and gender discrimination, low political power, underrepresentation in leadership positions and high-paying employment, and caregiving demands and penalties. The gender socialization of girls promotes the idea that the most important role in the life of a woman is being a mother. The majority of divorces are granted to women and men in midlife, between 45 and 54 years old. Women in particular file 60" of divorces in midlife. While midlife has been a historically neglected area, our current tendency to overfocus on women and midlife, the midlife crisis, and the travails of menopause may similarly neglect the relative position of midlife as one stage within the whole life cycle.