The topic of the gender inequality interests me because I want to know why it exists still after all of this time in the United States where people have seen the good women can do. Gender inequality stems from a culture where women are seen as “weaker” than men. The patriarchy that has dominated most of America’s history has slowly been broken down since the early 20th century. In society, gender inequality is a very large scale problem which ranges from pay gaps, politics, workplaces, sports, etc. Trying to break down this inequality has been a goal of many influential women such as Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Hillary Clinton, and Malala Yousafzai. Exploring and learning more about gender inequality is the only way to combat it.
The gender gap is a social issue that many people try to ignore or even deny. Even with mounting evidence towards the obvious presence of a gender gap many people still deny or don’t acknowledge it. In Jillian Berman’s (2018) article, she reveals a staggering statistic from an Institute for Women’s Policy Research report which stated that “over a 15 year period, women earn just 49 cents for every dollar a man earns” (Berman, 2018). The reason for this gap is likely due to the underlying culture of patriarchy in America in which men feel a type of dominance over women. Women suffer from the gap in another major way because their long-term benefits could be affected due to time out of work due to things like childbirth. The time spent out of work can affect the Social Security benefit a retiree gets because it is “tied to their average earnings during their 35 most profitable years” (Berman, 2018). The gender gap is a recurring issue over time and practice is seen in every country across the world. Some believe that the pay gap is inherently caused by the fact that women carry and give birth to babies which men cannot do. Sarah Kliff, a writer for Vox, states that in the United States “women are not guaranteed paid maternity leave and child care increasingly costs more than rent” (Kliff, 2018). The fact that a woman could possibly spend multiple years, depending on how many kids she has if any, out of work without sure maternity leave, could definitely hurt her financially in the present and the future as previously stated by the facts presented in the Berman article.
Pay is only part of gender inequality. In sports there is a lack of female coaches compared to male coaches in women’s sports which can hurt how girls feel about themselves and their view on sports as a whole. In Linda Flanagan’s article for The Atlantic, she makes the point that a male can’t understand a female like a female can. She states that “the absence of women means a dearth of female role models in powerful leadership positions” (Flanagan, 2017). Women being in a position of power will inspire more girls to be whatever that woman is and give them hope and a possible new option at a career path. The overwhelming prevalence of men in coaching shapes the way girls think about the role of coaching and can distort their view on leadership roles and make them think that “leadership roles are reserved for men” (Flanagan, 2017). The majority of coaches being male also shows the way gender inequality can be wired into children’s brains at a young age.
Gender inequality can only be combated by a change in attitude towards issues regarding it. Many laws will probably have to be passed in order to completely shore up gender inequality in the workplace. For instance, “a bill passed in San Francisco requires that their employers pay new parents 100 percent of their normal compensation for 6 weeks of leave” (CEO, 2018). Another way to defeat gender inequality is to build the confidence of our women and not tear them down and limit them to labels and roles, to empower them in their own dreams and goals and allow them to express themselves as any person should be able to.
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