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Women in 2010; New White House report details areas of progress and potential

Published: Saturday, April 9 2011 11:04 p.m. MDT

"It's the way our lifestyles are," she said. "I can't think of any stay-at-home moms. I know some who would like to be, but all of my friends are employed."

They work for reasons both economic and intrinsic, she said. Not only does she feel some homes need two salaries to survive in today's economy, but having a job gives you "that pride of having accomplished something at the end of the day."

And whether that job is teaching third graders, drawing blood or welding electric signs, women have proved that they can do any job they choose, Fisher said.

"Women in general, I think we can handle a lot more," she said. "We've stepped up. We've proved that we can do anything that they put out there."

In the recent LDS General Conference, Elder Quentin L. Cook praised the "incredible" LDS women and reminded them that "no woman should ever feel the need to apologize or to feel that her contribution is less significant because she is devoting her primary efforts to raising and nurturing children," he said.

He also added that "we should all be careful not to be judgmental or assume that sisters are less valiant if the decision is made to work outside the home. We rarely understand or fully appreciate people's circumstances. Husband and wives should prayerfully counsel together, understanding they are accountable to God for their decisions."

WOMEN AND FAMILIES

In 1970, 72 percent of women were married. By 2009, the number had dropped to 62 percent

In 1970, women were 21 years old when they gave birth to their first child. By 2007, they were, on average, 25 years old

Women have fewer children now than they did in 1976

Growing up LDS, Lori Horne, 32, imagined getting a college education, working for a few years, and then finding Mr. Right and settling down to raise a family.

Yet, after several years in the work force, her Prince Charming still hadn't appeared.

"I never really worried about it," she said. "I was OK with my situation. Of course, I wanted to be married, and I was dating, but I didn't feel like I was bitter. I thought whatever happens, happens."

So, she worked hard at her job in human resources and did what she could to make herself a better employee and a more educated woman. She also traveled the world and learned about different people and cultures.

"I feel like that has helped me in my perspective for being married, having a family," she said. "I feel more committed to being married, not having to wonder what my life would be like if I had gotten married at a young age."

Yet even though she was at peace with her situation, it was still tough, and she'd get comments like, "I can't believe you haven't found anybody yet," and "Don't worry, it will happen some day."

Her "someday" finally came in November 2009, when, at a month shy of 31, she married Sam Horne.

"You're always taught that (marriage) is the way it should be, but on the other hand, my church leaders (didn't say) 'Shame on you for pursuing a career' when I didn't have any opportunities to be married and start a family," she said.

However, some women push aside opportunities to marry and start a family, which Horne said can lead to problems.

"(By delaying a family,) a woman is often too ingrained in a career and that takes priority," Horne said. "It might be too hard to say, 'Well, I'm going to sacrifice and have children and raise children and make that my job.' "

Clyde Robinson, associate director of curriculum for the BYU School of Family Life said there's been a shift in the past several decades where women have decided to focus on careers, not just jobs.

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