Youth Voices: Gender inequality

By Sweta Patel

Comparing today’s society to that of a century ago, the world has progressed. Technology, government and ideologies have morphed into something better. In particular, America has come a long way. What once used to be a form of income for England is now one of the world superpowers. Although these progressions are extraordinary, the human race has many things to improve. For example, gender inequality is still an issue. Gender inequality is the unequal status and treatment of a person based on their gender. Although women have worked hard for equality there is still an injustice that exists, among those injustices are equal pay, higher cost for female products and under representation in certain fields.

Starting with Abigail Adams writing a letter to her husband, John Adams asking him to “remember the ladies” all the way to Hillary Clinton running for president, women have made immense progress. When Abigail Adams wrote the letter to John Adams, Adams failed to take her seriously proving that equality for women was not a priority. Not only have women fought for their rights but they were also at the forefront of the abolition movement. Women like Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Stanton attended the world antislavery convention held in London.

Shortly after, both women organized a meeting at Seneca Falls, New York, where the suffrage movement started. At Seneca Falls the Declaration of Sentiments was written by Elizabeth Stanton and signed by one hundred out of three hundred attendees. The declaration of sentiments was the first official document that exhibited women advocating for their rights. Another major contributor to women’s rights is Susan B. Anthony, who was tried and imprisoned for voting in the election of 1872. Fourteen years later after Anthony’s death, the 19th amendment was ratified. Since then, women have come a long way but still aren’t being treated as equals.

Although women make 51 percent of the United States workforce, they still make 77 percent what the average male worker earns. Work ethic should be the main factor of how well someone gets paid however, there is still a pay gap based purely on gender. Year-round workers for 2014 in the District of Columbia held the highest earning ratio of 90 percent, based on2010 U.S. Census data. This means that women working in the District of Columbia make 90 percent of what men make. The women in Louisiana make only 65 percent of what men make. The percentage in Louisiana has increased by only 1 percent since 2014. At the rate of how things are changing, women won’t have equal pay until 2059.

Unequal wages have a direct role in poverty. If wives were paid the same as their husbands for the same level of work then their family could be better supported. Also, houses with single moms suffer greatly from unequal pay. Single mothers struggle enough as it is but unequal wages make it especially hard to make ends meet. Not only are the wages uneven but work benefits such as employee health benefits, retirement benefits, training opportunities, and sick days are all unequal. In today’s day and age, it would be expected that women are completely equal to their counterparts but it’s not the case.

 

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