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Gender Equity: Equal Pay And Childcare

1043 words - 4 pages

Gender Equity: Equal Pay and ChildcareFour or five decades ago, as we can see in "Taking Women Students Seriously" by Adrienne Rich, women began to be aware of the feminism issues and started to fight over and ask for the true gender equity. Half a century later today, men and women have seemingly declared a cease-fire in the war that raged between the sexes, with more men taking their share of domestic duties and more professional women working outside the house. This seems to be a new world of both sexes. But is what we see really what we get?Despite that more and more aggressive career women are working relentlessly in the field, with the same education background and working experience, the ratio of male and female senior and executive management positions within organizations is still uneven. Most top management positions in the health care industry and in academic fields, for example, are held by men, while the majority of the working staff may be women. Have we finally progressed to true gender equity or there is still a long way to go?Take a 25-year-old woman entering the work force. If she stays at her same job full-time for the next 40 years, she stands to lose more than half a million dollars. How could she make up the loss? It would not be easy - she would have to be a man. Women in the workplace have come a long way since 1963, when President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, in which wage discrimination issues began to be addressed. A year later, the passage of the Civil Rights Act included employment language that banned wagebased discrimination against women and minorities. Today, however, most women still earn less than men.The weekly earnings in 1998 for women age 25 and older and employed full time were 76 percent of men's earnings. Such reports have largely contributed to the widely held belief of a "gender gap," or economic discrimination against women in all professions. Even though, for instance, the percentage of lawyers and judges who are women doubled to 29 percent between 1983 and 1996, while the percentage of female physicians increased from 16 to 26 percent, the majorities of these professional careers are still in men's power. Why is it then, we must ask, that with the same education background and same working experience, females always have less chance when it comes to career advancement, wage promotions, and hiring new employees? The pay for women, especially women of color, continues to lag behind their white counterparts.Another thing to look at for evidence of the unbalanced gender issues lies in the distribution of domestic duties. According to a new national survey conducted by Washington Post 1998, most men in the poll said they were happy to share child care and domestic chores with wives who work outside the home. Yet household duties remain sharply divided along gender lines. Working mothers still do twice as much housework as their husbands, and more than half of all women questioned expressed at...

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