In his latest state of the union address President Obama had this to say about the gender pay gap and what women go through living in America. “Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work. She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship – and you know what, a father does, too. It’s time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a “Mad Men” episode. This year, let’s all come together – Congress, the White House, and businesses from Wall Street to Main Street – to give every woman the opportunity she deserves. Because I firmly believe when women succeed, America succeeds.”
This is a nice sentiment; but is anything going to be done about the problem? If we are teaching our children that women can do anything men do, but continue to pay them less for the same work simply does not make sense. I hope the United Stares becomes less politically polarized so something can be done. A good idea to narrowing this gap would be to empower women to propose policy instead of upper class white males. The same can be said for abortion issues. The idea of a male dominated world should end. In 2014 families no longer look like they did on Leave it to Beaver. The dynamics in the household have changed, and women are excelling in the workplace and even surpassing men. Why shouldn’t they be paid for their success, instead of their sex?
The goal of this blog post is to shed light on the gender pay gap in America. In “Feminism and the Family: Two Decades of Thought” Barrie Thorne describes what the ideal family was supposed to be. “ In contemporary parlance, ‘the family’ often implies, in addition, a particular sexual division of labor: a breadwinner husband, freed for and identified with activities in a separate economic sphere, and a full-time wife and mother whose being is often equated with the family itself.” (P.7) This is no longer how the division of labor in a family is separated. Women in America are no longer confined to household chores and childcare as a job. I have always been taught that women can accomplish anything that a man can. Throughout history this has been proven. However, after having fought for years for equal rights more women are entering the workforce. Why are they still being paid less than men?
In a CNN article Maya Harris discusses what the President and Congress can do to narrow the wage gap. “Congress can start by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act so that women can’t get fired for asking their co-workers about their pay. As Lilly Ledbetter pointed out this week, “How will a woman know she’s being paid less if she can’t ask?” Today, nearly half of all workers labor in jobs where they are either prohibited by policy or discouraged by their employers from talking about their pay. They can face severe consequences if they do, including termination. The good news for Congress in this election year is that this issue has the support of most Americans, regardless of geography, gender, race or party affiliation. And if Congress fails to act, the President has been clear that he will.”
My hope is that the President and Congress will act to level out the pay gap and end gender inequality in the workplace.