Last Tuesday, April 12, local cafe and bake shop The Works charged women customers only 79 percent of their bills as part of the Stand With Women campaign. The campaign is organized by New Hampshire Alliance and the Granite State Progress Education fund. The purpose was to bring awareness to the wage gap – the fact that a woman earns 79 cents for every dollar a man does.
Another effort to raise awareness about wage discrimination was the bake sale on campus where women were charged 79 cents and men were charged $1.
These different types of efforts are certainly important in keeping the conversation on the wage gap present. The Equinox fully supports these ideas. However, there is a question we would like to raise. Why is this still an issue?
It’s 2016; the stereotypical housewife who stays home and bakes apple pies for her family is not alive in the way she once was.
Of course there are still ultra-traditionalists who live by the notion that women exist to be housewives, but for the most part American women are earning themselves a living, and they shouldn’t have to face wage discrimination along the way.
Globally speaking, the United States is not alone in this issue. A “Time” article from 2014 stated that the United States was ranked fifteenth in a list of the top 20 countries with the largest pay gaps. With South Korea coming in first place with a 37.5 percent pay gap and France coming in at number 20 with 14.3 percent, the US marked in at 17.8 percent. Clearly this problem is an international one that is in desperate need of action.
Whatever happened to the idea of progression? Women have fought their way into jobs and positions that their male counterparts have dominated for centuries.
In a world where women were once seen as the subservient role, they have made great strides in proving their worth, yet aren’t receiving the same pay as men for the exact same work.
According to a study done by Business Insider, women dominate the workforce in jobs like nursing (91 percent of workers female), elementary and middle school teachers (81 percent) and social workers (80 percent). While these jobs do have reputations for being more female-oriented, that doesn’t take away from their importance and significance in society.
The fact that men have the same jobs and are paid more is proof of these jobs’ importance. If men can work female-dominated jobs and earn the same wage why can’t women work male-dominated jobs and also earn the same?
The point is that gender inequality still exists today and, until it is properly dealt with, things will remain the same. Women are now a part of our military; they are doctors, engineers, educators, writers, painters. They are a wide array of things; let’s fight for their recognition in solidarity. They say there is strength in numbers – let’s prove that.
This is just one of many social issues our generation should take the responsibility of responding to. We may not have gotten ourselves into this mess, and we certainly didn’t ask for it, but it’s up to us to raise awareness and have the know how to make a difference.