One common debate in the political/feminist world is the gender wage gap. A lot of people like to deny that it exists, despite much evidence and reliable statistics. Many deny it because they either want to deny male privilege or they believe that women and men are equal. The latter is true. Men and women are equal in concept but not in practice. Don’t get me wrong, women have come a long way through history to gain equal rights in this patriarchal society, but we are not done. In this piece, I am going to be providing you with statistical evidence of the gender pay gap, and things that we can do to help in the fight for equal pay.
A common argument used in the debate of the gender pay gap is that women are paid less because they have easier jobs. This is incorrect for 2 reasons. First of all, not all women have easier jobs than men, don’t generalize. Second of all, women have less access and are less encouraged to try for academically rigorous jobs, this is a proven fact. This is proved in a CNBC piece which states that many women are ambitious about obtaining careers, however, they lack the same support provided to men. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/05/why-women-are-locked-out-of-top-jobs-despite-having-high-ambition.html. Another argument is that men have more education than women. Sadly, this isn’t true! Women have 56% of bachelor degrees in the United States. Additionally, many people lack the ability to accurately comprehend statistics. It is a common misconception that all statistics, correlating to the wage gap, compare all jobs for women to all jobs for men, which is incorrect. Most statistics will compare the same jobs of each gender, which is much more accurate and therefore reliable.
Now for the statistics. The Institute for Women’s Policy and Research found that in 2016 women who worked in full-time jobs obtained 80 cents for every dollar which men make. Additionally, the gap increases as you look into women’s races and for women of color it will take decades and decades to attain equal payments. The gender wage gap is also commonly mentioned throughout the app TikTok, notorious for ruining Trump’s Tulsa rally. An economic major mentioned these facts. He (@jamesraylife) states that “For every dollar a white man makes, Asian women make 93.5%, white women make 81.5%, black women make 65.3%, Hispanic women make 61.6% and indigenous women make 57%.” I understand you may not think Tik Tok is a reliable source, so I will provide more evidence. The American Progress Organization found that for every dollar that a male makes, women make on AVERAGE 82 cents.
https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/reports/2020/03/24/482141/quick-facts-gender-wage-gap/. To me, this seems like the continuation of increasing patriarchy. For example, women are more financially impacted when they have children. You can argue that this is because the woman is carrying the baby or that she shouldn’t have had sex if she didn’t want to get pregnant. But, reality check, it takes two to tango and men are just as responsible. If you are interested in seeing the stats: https://www.vox.com/2018/2/19/17018380/gender-wage-gap-childcare-penalty
With all of the statistics provided, we can very much see that the wage gap is present. If you still are not convinced, I suggest you look at more evidence and don’t remain close-minded. With this being said, we must do something about this issue.
Things we can do as citizens are show our undeniable support for equal pay. We can do this most effectively through signing petitions and taking action. I will leave a few links for this below. Thank you so much for reading!