More women in the workforce than men
But before you get too excited for how far we've come since the Ibsen wrote A Doll's House, the reasons for the shift are not exactly optimistic: The percentage of women who work is not increasing by much. Instead, layoffs are hitting men in much greater numbers because industries like construction and manufacturing have been the hardest hit -- Women are generally underepresented in those fields. Women tend to be strongly represented in areas like health care and education, both of which have so far proven to be largely recession-proof and haven't shed jobs.
The bad news in this is that women tend to earn less money than men, and are also more likely to work at part-time jobs that don't offer extensive benefits.
But in the meantime, a significant number of unemployed men are finding themselves dependent on the better sex for their dinner. The least we can do is learn how to cook it.