One of the core issues plaguing our society as a whole, especially in the U.S., is the delay in the actualization of gender equality. The feminism movement that was initiated and propagated in the states in the mid-eighteen century has come a long since its initiation; while then women had to fight for their right to vote, today they fight for their livelihood.
When it comes to gender equality, there are many things that one can debate about, such as the unexplained wage gap, employment opportunities, gender stereotyping, and even sexism that women face in every area of life, ranging from a board room to her doctor’s office.
In the early seventies to late eighties, the feminist movements in the U.S had their big wins when women employment rate reached an all-time high with a significant rise in their wages when compared to men. However, since the late nineties, the gap stilled and has hardly moved up or down up till 2018. The employment rate of women decreased from 75% (In the late nineties) back to 73% in recent years.
Is this a sign that we as a nation are regressing? Nowadays, equality between men and women is primarily viewed regarding their income. However, other factors count, such as the misogynistic policies regarding women’s sanitation and water use globally and in the United States. However, In the United States, the primary issue that feminists discuss is the wage gap between men and women.
Women who work the same jobs as men in the same age group earn 83 cents per dollar that a man makes. Many hiring authorities defend this tragic disparity using various reasons that again shift the blame onto women.
Despite the many protocols or promotional events that companies conduct to condemn gender discrimination, their recruiters still turn a blind eye to resumes or women candidates expecting a child or planning on getting married or starting a family. They do not want to bring such a woman on board because they fear they might have to give her a paid maternity leave or she might not be as competent once she is a mother. Whist their male candidates who would have no such responsibilities would solely focus on their company.
Thus, they are not given promotions to important roles despite the same effort as their male co-workers, and neither are they hired. This is why in 2020, according to a U.S employment and recruitment study, it was determined that women are more likely to be in a higher percentage of lower positions in a company than men. While companies might not openly shut down the idea of feminism, they have adopted these mentalities and participated in silent sexist behavior. This is why we are seeing a decline in women’s employment and an increase in the gender pay gap.
Women are already suffering due to the many abortion laws and sanitation policies; thus, companies need to be empathetic regarding their livelihood instead of participating in performative activism while enforcing a sexist work environment.
Andrew Levine & Emma Mischel, Progress toward gender equality in the United States has slowed or stalled, PNAS, (2020), https://www.pnas.org/doi/10.1073/pnas.1918891117
Sonam Sheth, Madison Hoff, Marguerite Ward, and Taylor Tyson, These 8 charts show the glaring gap between men’s and women’s salaries in the U.S., Insider, (2022), https://www.businessinsider.com/gender-wage-pay-gap-charts-2017-3