It is the 21st century and gender inequality is still a topic we are talking about today. Gender inequality has been around for many years. It affects people's availability to an education, being limited to just their gender. It affects women’s ability to get a job. And when they get that job their ability to have equal pay. This inequality can and does affect the amount women are paying for the same products as men but aimed at women. But gender inequality does not affect just women it affects men too. One of the reasons people think gender inequality is okay is because of influential people treating one sex lesser. There are many movements today that have tried to stop inequality and make men and women more equal. And there are other solutions to help combat this problem. The problem being that gender inequality is still affecting society today, in more ways than one.
For as long as most people can remember, men and women have not been equal. Since the 19th century women have been running the household by making clothes and cooking food. Once household items were on the market to buy, women’s jobs in the household became literally less valuable(C). Men’s philosophy of women during this time didn’t help with the inequality experienced. Women were possessions to their husbands, having to listen and agree with everything they said. Since women were uneducated their opinion automatically didn't matter(A). Change began in 1848 when women gathered at the Seneca Falls Convention, which “stated the injustices suffered by women”, like the denial to vote, women forced to give control of their property to their husband when they married, women being excluded from professions and the control men had over them. When the Civil War began, women took over their husband’s jobs. Suffragist movement pushed for a change in the government leading to the passing of the 19th amendment. This provided women with equal voting rights(A). Also pushing for the equal rights amendment (ERA), which was passed in 1972(B).
Education is something everyone should be entitled to, but very few people actually receive. In developing countries, education for women is quite low(A). 31 million girls of the elementary school age don’t attend schools and 17 million of these girls will never go to school in their lifetime. Even in the United States getting into elite colleges is harder for women. The US Department of Education Data found that 11% of men verses 7% of women were accepted to Brown University in 2014(B). Additionally, when people are educated they are less likely to end up in poverty. In, 2007 14% of women were in poverty versus 11% of men. Not to mention, girls are underestimated in schools. From the moment girls enter schools they are instilled to believe that they are less talented than their male peers(C).The only way to increase the level of education is to eliminate gender inequality.
In a study, the most valued trait for women was attractiveness at 35%, followed by nurturing/empathy at 30% and ambition/leadership at 9%. The most valued trait for men was honesty/morality at 33%, 23% voting for professional/financial success and last being ambition/leadership 19%. Bonus fact being 28% of respondents volunteered that assertiveness, ambition and leadership are trails that women should not have. This shows our society’s feeling of women’s physical appearance(B). 1 in 4 women have been warned about their appearance at work. Whether is was wearing too much makeup or skirt length, you never hear about men being warned about their clothing. Last year in London Nicola Thorp, a receptionist, was fired for refusing to wear heels to her office job. She said “If you can give me a reason as to why wearing flats would impair me to do my job today, then fair enough” but they couldn’t. When Hillary Clinton ran for president, it wasn't uncommon to hear media talking about her matching pantsuit or what designer she wore(C). Women face double standards like, people in power should be assertive and ambitious but often women are criticized for acting this way. Politics is a great example of where this can be seen. There are fewer republican women senators than men named John in the Senate, and even fewer women on the democratic side. “Johns” represent 3.3% of the male population and women representing 50.8% of the total population(A).
The gender pay gap is a real thing. Women make 78% of what men make working at the same job. 78 cents for every 1 dollar(A). Some of the factors that create this pay gap are working mothers, access to education, age, state you live in, race/ethnicity and pay discrimination. If women were paid what men were paid, women would gain billions in earnings yearly(B). The pay gap doesn't affect all women but it does affect almost 60% of women. A way to lower the pay gap is to give paid leave to new mothers. The US is the only industrialized country without paid leave for mothers. Student mothers working towards a degree, have to take off from school and it takes longer for them to get their postsecondary degree(C).
You may have seen the purple and pink packaging with the floral and fruity scents compared to the blue, grey and red packaging with the muskier scents on the same type of products. The difference is not only in the color of the packaging or scent of the product, it's also in the price(B). “Price discrimination adds another layer to the wage inequality women face, making it harder sometimes for women to make ends meet” says the CEO of the Women’s Foundation of California, Surina Khan(A). The pink tax (not actually a tax) also called gender-based pricing, “is an upcharge on products traditionally intended for women which have only cosmetic differences from comparable products traditionally intended for men”. The same brand, same number of refills for razors, the ones in the purple packaging cost $18.49 while the ones in the blue cost $14.99. These products do the exact same thing, why does one cost more(B)? “Retailers see women as their biggest target,” said Potrikus, the CEO of the Retail Council of New York State(A).
“While 49% of women think gender bias is alive and well today, only 28% of men agree”(A). Men are affected by gender inequality too. Men are supposed to be strong, not cry, protect the household, provide for family, be confident, be aggressive and competitive. This leads to extra stress, excessive drinking, smoking, substance abuse and more risks such as violence. And yet men don’t seek help because gender stereotypes discourage men from asking for help(B).
There are tons of gender equality campaign and movements all over the world. Some of the most talked about are the He for She campaign, the MeToo movement and the Women’s March. The He for She campaign was initiated by United Nations Women. Their goal is to teach both men and women about gender inequality and make a more gender equal world(A). The MeToo movement helps connect survivors of sexual violence. They provide services and safe spaces through local and national organization(B). The Women’s March is a women-led movement providing education on a diverse range of topics. They are committed to stopping oppression through nonviolent resistance and creating all inclusive buildings. There principles include ending violence, environmental justice, reproductive, LGBTQIA, worker’s, civil, disability and immigrants rights. “We believe that Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights”(C).
Many solutions have surfaced to combat gender inequality. These solutions could include but are not limited to the following. First of these solutions include educating managers on how to be fair to all workers regardless of gender. Most managers don't realize they are treating/talking to women differently than men. Secondly would be to consider creating pay transparency. This would help eliminate gender pay gaps and help achieve a salary balance(B). Thirdly we could create high-quality daycare options that would allow moms and dads to work outside the home and not be in fear that their children's well-being and finances are at risk. Fourthly reduce parents from forcing traditional gender roles and reduce gender stereotyping in news and media. Fifth would be to open up to the public about the reasons, extent and consequences of rape, pornography, sexual assault and harassment. As well as increasing services, like rape-crisis centers, for girls and women who have been raped or sexually assaulted(A).
Gender Inequality: A Rant. (2021, Jul 27).
Retrieved March 5, 2024 , from
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