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Fair And Unjust Wages During The Victorian Period

1348 words - 5 pages

"A fair day's wage for a fair day's work" (Carlyle). Thomas Carlyle once said this quote during the Victorian period. The quote refers to how one should have the ability to receive, in return, what they put forth. Therefore, if a person works all day, then that person should be able to receive enough money to be able to live comfortably. However, that is not the case. There are many people in this world that live pay check to pay check, if they are lucky. This is a distinct problem that has been going on for many years, along with the gender wage gap. In the world of today, women have taken the stance of being able to do more; therefore, the gender wage gap should be nonexistent.
Although women have progressed in their role in society, they are still placed below men. As a result, there is a distinctive wage gap between working men and women. As of in 2009, recently graduated college women were getting paid an average of eighty-two percent of what males were earning (Dugas). This shows how men are constantly ranked above women, but only in specific jobs. Women receive the same amount of money when working in the fields of "bookkeeping, accounting, and auditing clerks" (Dugas). These jobs portray the roles of women, therefore, thinking women are only equipped for certain jobs. This degrades women by only thinking that women have the capacity to accomplish jobs resembling the role of women in the household. However, the reasons given for why women receive less money than men are "their college majors, occupation, and the number of hours they work" (Dugas). It is explainable if the reason for getting paid less is the occupation, but there is no explanation for when there is a man and woman working in the same field and the woman is getting paid seven percent less. The only valid justification is "gender discrimination" (Dugas). Even though the wage gap has been in existence for awhile, women are surprised to hear that they are not getting paid the same amount as men. To help this problem, one can negotiate, however, men and women are perceived differently. If a woman walks into her boss's office to negotiate her salary, she is looked at differently than the man and may be penalized (Dugas). In society today, equality in the workplace should be enforced. The woman should not be penalized for going into a lower paying occupation; it was her choice and decision. However, a woman should not be treated differently simply because she is a woman and not a man. Equal-pay laws do exist, but it should be ensured that these laws are being enforced because unequal pay still exists.
Pope Leo XIII describes "just wage as an amount needed to support a thrifty and upright worker plus his family, and prescribed that it must be sufficient enough to allow the worker to save and acquire property of his own" (Engelland). Pope Leo XIII discusses the importance of fair/just wages in his encyclical, Rerum Novarum. The encyclical is important because there is a problem...

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