Gender Equality: The Wage Gap



The Problem

For hundreds of years, women have been treated as inferior to men. This hasn’t always been the case though. In the times of hunter-gathers, all people were valued, integral parts of the community. In ancient Egypt, gender didn’t dictate any social status. (O’Brien) In modern times, however, women have been mistreated, disadvantaged, and abused, and had little to no consequences for doing so. Women are seen by some as having less inherent value than men. That mentality justifies a difference in pay between them. Instead, some believe every person, whether woman, man, or enby, should be valued equally, and should be paid equally for equivalent labor. Today, all around the world systemic problems face women, for example, for every eighty-nine cents made by a woman, one dollar is made by a man doing the same labor. (O’Brien)

Not only are women paid less, but they are sometimes unable to work high-paying jobs because societal norms force them to spend their time and energy running their households. They are expected to care for children, do cleaning and cook meals. This labor is unpaid, which means they often become financially dependent on their partner. Men in power have disenfranchised women for centuries, restricting them from owning land, voting, writing, being educated, or having high-ranking positions in society. (O’Brien)

Restricting women’s ability to earn their own money reduces the agency they have. If people are worried about earning enough to eat, they won’t take a day off work to march in a rally. Religious institutions have sought to sequester women, and force rigid, obedient, roles onto them, all done in the name of a higher power. These pretenses are used to justify cruel and unjust actions taken against women.

Governments use laws and policing to withhold self-agency from women, LGBTQIA+ people, and people of color, including indigenous people. Without the right to vote, their voices on political leaders are silenced, and they aren’t taken into account. Issues they value, like equal pay for all, aren’t addressed. People have taken stands against the system, but in trying to bring awareness to these issues plaguing women around the world, and speaking out against them, and the people responsible for their proliferation, many throughout history have suffered and been killed. (O’Brien)

Women endure hate-filled, ignorant, sexist, bigoted, crude, and dehumanizing remarks regularly. (O’Brien) One of the most common places for these interactions is in workplace settings. This awful treatment drives women out of the workforce, or into worse, lower-paying positions to get away from the people who mistreat them.


How do we reduce the impacts of issues like pay inequality?


One way to reduce these issues' impacts is by speaking out against inequality and raising awareness about the systemic issues women face simply for existing as they are. By addressing problems such as the wage gap, and calling on leaders to change policies. (O’Brien) Social media has become a home for discourse surrounding these topics. It is important to recognize the part we play within the system, and the power we hold to shape it.

Throughout the years, thousands of civil activists and feminists have rallied and written for their cause. They confront firmly instantiated institutions and beliefs. We can follow in their footsteps and march, picket truths clenched high. (O’Brien) Going on strike from businesses with unfair and unequal hiring, firing, or payment practices. By celebrating the achievements and lives of women, and voting for female leaders. (O’Brien) As a society, we should value everyone regardless of their gender, race, or other attributes. Everyone should respect, and be respected. It is irrational and unfair to pay someone less just for having a different body when it has no bearing on the work they do. It is selfish and cruel to force women to participate in unpaid domestic service, or to restrict their access to voting, ownership, and education. As a connected and intelligent culture, we should be able to solve these humanitarian issues. Regardless of who we are, these issues are our issues, for we are engaged in the anthropocene.

Do you think women should be paid the same?

Should women and men be paid equally?





Works Cited

O'Brien, Cynthia. Working toward Gaining Equality for Women. Crabtree Publishing

Company, 2021.

Imani, Blair, and Monique Le. Modern Herstory: Stories of Women and Nonbinary People

Rewriting History. Ten Speed Press, 2018.

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  • I think that men and women should get paid the same if they have the same job and put out the same quality of work. If one is being lazy and not giving 100% to there job then I think it would make sense if they didn't get paid the same. 

  • I think that women should get paid the same especially if it is for the exact same job as a man. Your gender, race, and nationality should not determine how much you get paid when you are working. How much you get paid should be determined by if you are a person who puts in the work and tries to be a good worker compared to all of the other workers. It should not matter if you are a man or a woman. If you work hard you should get paid the amount that you deserve.

  • I think people should be paid based on what their work is worth. If someone is working hard for their money then they have earned the right to keep it and spend it as they like. And, if you identify as a man although you are a women then you should not be complaining about how much money you make because you have just as many opportunities as anyone else.

  • I think that women should be paid the same if they work the same job because if a woman isn’t working the same job as a man but want the same pay the woman doesn’t deserve the same pay. After all, she doesn’t put in the same amount of work as the man or other person, but if they work the same job, they should be paid the same amount.

  • I think that if women and men did the same exact job they should get paid the same. I think that as long as women are down in the sewer, up on the roof, building skyscrapers like men are then they should be paid the same. If women are at a desk all day not risking their lives to build infrastructure then they should not be paid as much as those kind of jobs.

  • I personally think that gender equality is very important. But there are many things that men can do that women can’t and the other way around. Women can house another human in then, while men are proven to be stronger than women physically. So they both can be very close calls, women and men are both challenged differently.

  • I think that somebody, regardless of their gender, should get paid for how much their work is worth. If one person's quality of work is better, and they are putting in more hours, they deserved to be paid more. So if a women is working less hours than a man, then she shouldn't be paid as much, and it goes the same if a man works less hours than the female co-worker.

  • I agree with you that women have gotten the short end of the stick for centuries because of the domination of men. The whole world has had the same idea for a very long time, but I don't think it is set in stone. As time moves forward we see women and others who have been oppressed advancing in our society and I hope that the trend upward will continue until everyone is equal and is paid equally for the same amount of work.

  • I believe that everyone should be paid the same amount if they do the same work with the same amount of quality and efficiency. The idea that someone should be paid less because of their gender, or anything having to do with their physical appearance, is insane.

  • i feel women should beable to work the same jobs as men and get paid the same or even more depending on their work ethic. i strongly dislike how some men are sexist twords women and say they cant be in the milatary or they cant work in the trades cause i feel women can do whatever they want even if it is a "manly job".

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