Status Of Women

December 7, 2009
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It’s no secret that women have always had a lower status than men have in American society. For many years, women were not even supposed to hold a job, other than taking care of the house and children. In fact, studies in the 1960’s showed that the scholastic achievement of girls was higher in early grades, rather than high school. The main reason for this is because the girl’s own expectations shifted. Neither their parents nor teachers expected them to be anything more than a wife and a mother. Throughout the past few decades, however, this trend has been shifting (http://www.wic.org/misc/history.htm).

In the 1950’s, women made up hardly 30 percent of the work force. Now they make up nearly half of the workplace (www.usnews.com). This began with WWII. With all the men at war, women had to take many of their jobs. This theme of women working has continued throughout the past 50 years and grown drastically. Now, it’s completely normal for a woman, even if she is a mother, to hold a job. Women can hold positions as high as men and not be looked at strangely. Even though there is equality in the amount of women and men in the workplace, the rate of pay is very unfair. Women are paid significantly less than men are. The median pay for a full time working man in 2008 was $798; women, $638. Women that do the same exact same job, as men don’t get paid the same? This doesn’t seem fair in any way. Overall, women make an average of 80 percent of what men make (http://www.dol.gov/wb/factsheets/Qf-ESWM08.htm). This is a major problem. Especially when the divorce rate now is so high, how is a woman supposed to support her children, or herself, if she can’t even obtain equal pay? At the rate of progress achieved between 1989 and 2002, it would take more than 50 years for women to receive the same wage as men (http://www.iwpr.org/States2004/index.htm). This definitely needs to change. Women deserve the same pay as men. It’s becoming a lot more common to see women in what most would call “men’s work”, like lawyers, doctors, and business officials. Women in these professions are very successful, but still can’t quite reach the same amount of money as the men.

Things didn’t even start to become equal for women until the 1960’s with the Equal Pay Act, Civil Rights Act, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. All of these intended to give women equality, but they still weren’t enough. We are still having problems with these issues in today’s society. Things are still pushing towards a better tomorrow, though.

My view on how to fix this would be to make a foolproof way for women to be assured they are receiving the same wages as men that they work with. Thanks to Barack Obama’s new Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, this is now possible. The new act states that anyone who feels that they were paid unequally can file a complaint against their employer up to 180 days after the paycheck was distributed (allowedhttp://www.infoplease.com/spot/womenstimeline3.html). Mostly women have used this right because it is mostly women who fall victim to pay discrimination. I hope that one day soon, women and men can be completely equal in American society, from an employment aspect, and with this act underway, it seems possible.





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