What Gender Inequality Issue?


The other night while I was reading to my twelve year old son in his bed, he pointed out a part in the greek myth where Helen of Troy runs off with Paris. Her "husband" refers to her in the story as his property, and sets off to re-claim her.  

"Is a wife like a house, mom?" 

It was late and I was bone tired but there was no way that I was going to step over that one.  I talked a little bit about the differences between how men and women have been treated throughout history. The part that really grabbed his attention was when I told him that if he and his sister were tasked to do the same job today and each of them did their job well, that he would earn a dollar, and she would earn 80 cents, 20 cents less than he would.  

But she’s older and smarter than me, and... well.. that’s not even fair.

From the mouths of babes.
I sat down at the computer after tucking him in and searched through stats and facts:

Equality for women has been an ongoing battle since the original women's rights conference in Seneca Falls, New York, in 1848
  • Women today are paid 83 cents for every dollar a man earns, as per Gallup ( these were all over the map)
  • For every dollar made by a father with children under the age of 18, mothers earn 74.7 cents. 
  • African-American women earn 64 cents and Latina women earn 56 cents for every dollar earned by a Caucasian man. More here on the Gender Pay Gap.
  • Women currently hold 23 (4.6 percent of) CEO positions at S&P 500 companies. 
  • The average full-time working woman will lose more than $460,000 over a 40-year period in wages due only to the wage gap. To catch up she will need to work 12 additional years.
  • By 2018, there will be 1.4 million open technology jobs in the U.S. and, at the current rate of students graduating with degrees in computer science, only 61 percent of those openings will be filled — and women will fill just 29 percent.
  • 26 percent of people employed in computer and mathematical occupations are women. 
  • Women are less likely to receive the first critical promotion to manager—so far fewer end up on the path to leadership—and they are less likely to be hired into more senior positions.
  • Corporate America promotes men at 30 percent higher rates than women during early career stages.
  • Women are more educated than men, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics. For the class of 2013-1014, women earned more than half of bachelor’s degrees (57.1 percent), masters degrees (59.9 percent), and doctorate degrees (51.8 percent).
  • The Faces In Government Are Those Of White Republican Men
  •  The State Of The Union On Gender Equality, Sexism, And Women’s Rights, found that many Republican men, who are in power in our country, don’t even perceive that there is a gender inequality issue.
  • 39 percent of Republican men don’t see a gender inequality problem and say that we have achieved gender equality for women. Nearly two-thirds (64 %) believe women have equal or more financial stability than men and close to half (46 %) say there are equal or more women in positions of power in society than men. Finally, 51 % of Republican men are more likely to say it is a “good time to be a woman in America.”
  • Four in ten (men) (40%) agree that women like to tease men and then refuse male advances. Three in ten (29%) say grabbing a woman by her genitalia without consent is either not sexual assault or they are not sure. 
  • Fewer than half of Republican men say the following factors affect women’s rights or equality: sexism (48% perceive it affecting equality), violence against women (47%), unequal caregiving responsibilities (36%), racism (35%), access to abortion (34%), and access to birth control (32%). Only one in four Republican men (24%) say a lack of women in political office affects women’s rights and equality.
  • South Asia is projected to close their gender gap in 46 years, Western Europe in 61 years, Latin America in 72 years and Sub-Saharan Africa in 79 years. What about the United States? Given the slow progress over the last decade, the gender gap in North America is not expected to close for another 158 years. More here.
  •  32 million primary school and 29 million lower-secondary school-age girls are out of school, and almost two-thirds of the world’s illiterate adults are women. Girls who are out of school are at heightened risk of being married as children.
  • Women only have 23% of the political power that men have worldwide. In the United States, things are even worse – with women wielding only 17% of the political power.
We've come so far?
  • On August 26, 1920, American women were granted the right to vote
  • In the U.S., women were only allowed to have credit cards in their own names as of 43 years ago. Men had a two-decade head start. In the 1960s a woman needed to bring a man along to cosign any credit application.
  • A woman’s husband could beat her or have sex with her without her consent in this country with no real legal recourse until the 1970s.
  • Men hold most of the world’s wealth. In fact, just eight men own the same wealth as 3.6 billion people who make up the poorer half of humanity, the majority of whom, according to Oxfam, are women. As a gender whole, women are poor. This means that, in part, stopping sexual harassment and abuse will involve fighting for wage parity.
We Need To Be The Change.