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Women and men are always going to be seen differently and treated differently. Women are lower in position and usually get the short end of the deals. What I mean by women usually get the short end of the deals is women aren’t given enough credit for what they do in general and it’s become a normal thing for society to underappreciate them. To begin, Wage discrimination has been around for decades and it is unfairness shown in payment of wages towards minority groups. The targets of wage discrimination are African American women, and Latina women, minorities. They are faced with decreased wage earning for the same job with the same performance levels and responsibilities as white males. There are quite a few issues surrounding women’s equal pay today. Some cases of wage gap lead families to poverty. Other important issues surrounding the wage gap is Gender, Ethnicity, and the Educational Differences between men and women.
In the novel The Female Persuasion, by Meg Wolitzer Faith says that “We need to keep thinking about the role that economics plays. Because no matter how fair a society is, it’s still going to be women who have the babies” (Wolitzer 168). This is one of many reasons why women’s pay is not equal. For example, a woman will most likely get pregnant and go on maternity leave while men can potentially get the job faster. Another reason why women don’t have equal pay is because they are physically weaker than men. The practice of paying men more than women for the same job, because men had to provide for their families, was accepted then but is now illegal due to the Equal Pay of Act of 1963. Even with this act, women still earn less than men because of the reason that they will at any time reproduce. The so-called mommy penalty explains why women lag further behind men in earnings during their later stages of their working lives. There is no proof that being a mother makes a woman less productive on a job, while it is true that women take away more time from work than men do, that decision often makes a lot of sense economically when a wife’s wages are lower than her husband’s wages. Furthermore, women are seemingly penalized for having children once they do return to work because they are gone for a long period of time and are less experienced then the one’s that stayed, therefore gets paid less. In particular if one’s company offers a raise within a years’ worth of time working there, the male is more than likely to receive the raise due to the female’s pregnancy absence.
Next the Bureau of Labor statistics noted an unexplained wage gap between many Americans. American women with full-time employment earned about 80 cents for every dollar earned by American men with full time jobs (Wage Discrimination n.p.). Therefore, women still don’t get equal pay even though it is equal work being done amongst them. The gender pay gap is greater for Hispanic women who only get 54 cents for every dollar that a white man makes. It is unfair due to the average female making $34,000 annually while the white men make around $57,000 annually, this gap amounts to losing about $23,000 in wage difference. Women of color appear to face the levels of disadvantage with respect to the wage equality. Over the years the gender wage gap is real and hurts women across the board suppressing their earnings and making it harder to balance work and family. Serious attempts to understand the gender wage gap should not include shifting the blame to women for not earning more rather than seeing how our economy proves unequal opportunities for women at every point of their education, career choices or training. They appear to face the levels of disadvantage because this topic is out of their control and need the help of many to get past the issue.
In addition, another issue regarding todays wage gap includes one’s educational differences but even that women can’t educate their way out of the gender wage gap. In almost all countries if you compare the wages of men and women you find out that women tend to earn less than men. Females in the workforce have increased their education yet women’s pay lags men at every level of education. On the other hand, if a woman gets a higher degree than the average male, she will then be making the same amount as him. Unfortunately for every female it isn’t possible to get a second degree therefore they are stuck on their average pay. For instance, if a woman with an associate degree can earn an average of $43,000 close to the $47,000 earned by men with just a high school diploma. Then a woman with a bachelor’s degree earns slightly above than what the man makes with his associates degree and so forth. While it is true that women choose to major in less lucrative fields such as education or social worker it is not fair that the women must earn a higher degree to make the equal amount as the average male. This scares me into pursuing my career because I will be putting in the same effort, skill, practice and get paid less than one who is just as skilled as me.
Closing the gender wage gap would cut the poverty rate in half of working women, and their families. The reason it is important for to help close the gender wage gap would help many women and families, especially the single mothers struggling to make ends meet. Equal pay would positively affect a significant boost to the economy. For instance, women who go into longer careers to make more, spend more time into paying off their student loans which makes it harder for the families. The wage gaps wouldn’t be as crucial as they are now, and families wouldn’t struggle as much when in an emergency. Closing the wage gap would be beneficial towards many female’s retirement funds, therefore wouldn’t have to stress about what money they will use for the next years for survival. Closing the wage gap would be beneficial to families in need of the extra support.
In conclusion, society doesn’t understand how women are unappreciated and how the wage gap has affected many families. If we can recognize these issues it will help us act and help empower the women that we know. Many professions dominated by women are low paid, and professions that have became female dominated have become lower paid. Wage discrimination matters overall because it affects the economy and has led many families to poverty. If wage discrimination is slowly tackled providing equal pay to women would have dramatic impact on their families, also the number of children with working mothers living in poverty would cut in half.