Before there was a women’s movement, every facet of society suppressed women to second-class status. Women were under the control of their husbands and needed their permission to get a job or even obtain a credit card. Poorly portrayed and stereotyped in stage and film roles, women were banned from obtaining an education and from many professional fields of work. But despite the success of the fight for women’s equality over the last 100 years, we need to acknowledge the fact that there is still much more work left to accomplish before women achieve full equity and justice. There remains significant barriers were women are marginalized in the economy, such as the wage discrimination. This gender pay gap plays a critical role in impacting, not just women, but for our families and the economy. It’s true that in today’s society women have come a long way, nevertheless, for every woman who has reached the “top” there are still millions of women struggling to earn a living wage.
Since American women joined the workforce during World War II, they have become a significant, growing role as workers and providers, which created a profound economic and social shift. Currently, women make up more than half of the population and make up 46.9% of the U.S. labor force. This noteworthy increase of women in the labor force has revealed that women are succeeding at the expense of men, who now face a drop in the economic and social status.
Yet, women still have yet to gain equality with men in the workplace.
While the pay gap has narrowed since 1973, the gender pay gap is affecting women across all industries and education levels. In 99% of occupations women will earn less than the men. Not only do women earn less from the time they start in the workforce, but these injustices add up over time. Over the course of her career, a woman will lose $431,000 due to the gender pay gap. With that money she could buy a house, send two children to a public university, buy 21,900 gallons of gas, and feed a family of four for almost seven years. Women on average earn 77 cents out of the dollar, when a male will earn the dollar. And this gap widens for women of color. As more industrious and educated women enter the workforce every year, and more than half of the population is women, why do...