Throughout the course of history, women have always had to fight for equal rights with men. Women have had to fight for the right to vote, to hold the same positions as men and to receive equal pay for the same jobs as men.
It’s hard to comprehend that in 2017 women are still considered to be subservient to men. Although the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963 to protect wages for women and provide equal pay with men, unfortunately, we continue to see a wage gap between men and women today and in some cases, we see it grow. One area that continues to stand out regarding the wage gap is that women with a four-year college degree have been increasingly making less. According to David Leonhardt, “The gap between their pay and the pay of male college graduates has actually widened slightly since the mid-90’s.” While we saw a rapid increase in wages for women in the 80’s and early 90’s this trend has stalled and widened slightly in the mid-90’s. Women are still being discriminated and sexually harassed in the workplace. The government needs to do more by enforcing discrimination laws or amending current laws making sure women with comparable jobs are paid equally.
The wage gap has made it harder for working single moms to provide for their families and as a result, there are more single moms than dads living in poverty. If women earned the same as their male counterpart, “the country’s number of single working mothers who live in poverty would drop from thirty percent to fifteen percent” according to Danielle Paquette. It is perceived that women should shoulder the burden for child care thus not having the opportunity to pursue better-paying jobs. One way the government can help is to mandate that companies offer daycare programs. As noted by David Leonhardt, “If the government offered day-care programs similar to those in other countries or men spent more time caring for family members, women would have greater opportunity to pursue whatever job they wanted.
” There are some that believe the wage gap between men and women is misleading. Studies have shown that you need to take into consideration the family role. Tim Worstall notes that June O’Neil concluded in a 2005 study that “there is no gender gap in wages among men and women with similar family roles.” This leads you to believe the wage gap isn’t a result of discrimination against women. However, according to Kevin Miller, “Multiple studies have found that even after industry, hours worked, and education, a substantial pay gap remains”. We can no longer deny that there is a clear wage gap between men and women.
As noted above there are many factors that contribute to the wage gap and it’s not necessarily a cut and dry answer. We saw the gap close in the 1980’s to the Mid 1990’s but have since then seen the gap slowly increase. There is no doubt that the wage gap is real and something needs to be done to close it. We need to implement pay equity audits to ensure women are paid equally for similar positions. We need the government to enforce existing policy and expand policy if warranted and we need to educate the public about the disparity between wages of men and women.