Is the Wage Gap Between Sexes Gone?
In 1963, President John F. Kennedy first signed the Equal Pay Act in an effort to bridge the gap between a man’s yearly salary and a woman’s. You would think that in 50 years this embarrassing gap would have been completely eradicated in one of the most modern countries on the planet. Right?
Wrong. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families (NPWF), women STILL make 77 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. In fact, the NPWF analyzed US Census data to determine that women are paid close to $12,000 less than men who perform the same jobs and have the same qualifications. The gap is even larger for Latina and African American women in the United States. Don’t think this bias is limited only to certain areas, as all 50 states showed a significant wage gap between the sexes.
Although the numbers are insulting to all women, for some women, it is about survival. In more than 15 million families in the United States, women are the sole providers . Sadly, while women work full-time in order to provide for their children, 30% of these families fall below the poverty line according to census data. The wage gap may be contributing to the inability of women to put food on the table, a warm roof over their children’s heads and gas in their vehicles.
All females, from the most liberal to the staunchest conservative, must recognize that something is wrong with this system.
Bridging the Gap
According to the NPWF, important improvements can be made if the wage gap was completely eliminated. For example, the wage gap was largest in the metropolitan area of Seattle. If a woman was paid as much as a man in this particular area, that woman could afford over TWO MORE YEARS of food. That’s not just an extra pedicure each month, ladies. That’s food for a family for two years.
With 50 years under our belt, it’s easy to assume that the wrong has been righted and the problem has been fixed. With the way things are going now, it will take another 45 years for women to completely catch up and start making as much as the men in similar positions. Not exactly what JFK had in mind in the early 60s.
Overcoming the Past for the Future
Without any real facts to support this unacceptable wage gap, it’s difficult to fathom why the situation hasn’t changed. The world is constantly evolving, and women are at the helm more often than ever before. For millions of women that are striving to make ends meet and put food on the table, the gap creates a serious issue. With how far we’ve come, now is not the time to give up.