Gender issues in America today Essay
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Women of the whole world face problems on their way to have equal rights with men. These problems differ and depend on the laws of the country they live in. By the last 40 years in the US, thanks to the activity of women’s rights movement, women succeed in the struggle for equal rights, but till the complete equality with men in the aspects of professional practice, salary and policy, there are far more left to gain.
American women who want to raise their children in the world with more equality try to change the situation and find some people who have the same position on the issue among representatives of different political parties and members of nongovernmental organizations.
When in 1960 drugs which help to control the birthrate came into existence it became possible for women to choose their own life journey. Marriage, children and housekeeping stopped to be the only opportunity. Harmless and more trusting contraception provided women with possibility to appreciate the alternative to all their traditional roles in society.
At the same time in the 60s the movement for civil rights, demanding to put an end to racial discrimination and the act about civil rights of the year 1964 undermined the gender discrimination too. This is why the verdure of women’s movement in 70s was not just a case of fortune. Representatives of women’s movement were demanding equal professional opportunities and law defense for all American women. As a result in 60s – 80s the Congress constituted several laws oriented to protect women’s rights.
Among them injunction of the Supreme Court of 1965 which opened for women the access to professions earlier considered as men’s ones, the injunction of the Supreme Court of 1971 which forbid the employers to deny women with preschool children, and a law published in 1970 which prohibit gender discrimination in all educational programs financed by government. By the end of 70s among labor force were more women than ever before in peace history (during the Second World War a lot of women went to work, when their men were on battlefields but after 1945 they returned to household chores).
But as women were making progress in the career their possibilities were gradually restricted. A term “glass ceiling” describe the invisible barrier which faces a lot of women on their carrier ladder whilst their men-colleagues with the same professional skills and experience avoid all these problems. In the 80s in the US were accepted several laws oriented to ease the affect of “glass ceiling” so, for example, in 1984 the injunction of the Supreme Court prohibited to oppose to women’s joining clubs. Earlier these clubs gave to men the capacity of intercommunication for the purpose of further career development.
In the same year the Supreme Court resolved that legal services have no right to restrain the career development of their employees in virtue of gender. However the problem of “glass ceiling” is still exist in the US. In 2002 two members of the House of Representatives – a man and a woman – submitted a report on the problem. The report dwells upon the fact that still too few women occupy administrative positions almost in all spheres. In the report it was also mentioned that the wage gap now is 80 cent earned by woman for every dollar earned by man.
“The wage gap is a statistical indicator often used as an index of the status of women’s earnings relative to men’s. It is also used to compare the earnings of other races and ethnicities to those of white males, a group generally not subject to race- or sex-based discrimination. The wage gap is expressed as a percentage (e. g. , in 2005, women earned 77% as much as men) and is calculated by dividing the median annual earnings for women by the median annual earnings for men. The Equal Pay Act was signed in 1963, making it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who hold the same job and do the same work.
At the time of the EPA’s passage, women earned just 58 cents for every dollar earned by men. By 2005, that rate had only increased to 77 cents, an improvement of less than half a penny a year. Minority women fare the worst. African-American women earn just 69 cents to every dollar earned by white men, and for Hispanic women that figure drops to merely 59 cents per dollar. The wage gap between women and men cuts across a wide spectrum of occupations. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that in 2005 female physicians and surgeons earned 60.
9% of the median weekly wages of male physicians, and women in sales occupations earned just 63. 4% of men’s wages in equivalent positions. If working women earned the same as men (those who work the same number of hours; have the same education, age, and union status; and live in the same region of the country), their annual family incomes would rise by $4,000 and poverty rates would be cut in half. ” It is also interesting to follow up how the wage gap was changing through years : № Year Percent № Year Percent № Year Percent 1 1951 63. 9 20 1970 59. 4 38 1988 66.
0 2 1952 63. 9 21 1971 59. 5 39 1989 68. 7 3 1953 63. 9 22 1972 57. 9 40 1990 71. 6 4 1954 63. 9 23 1973 56. 6 41 1991 69. 9 5 1955 63. 9 24 1974 58. 8 42 1992 70. 8 6 1956 63. 3 25 1975 58. 8 43 1993 71. 5 7 1957 63. 8 26 1976 60. 2 44 1994 72. 0 8 1958 63. 0 27 1977 58. 9 45 1995 71. 4% 9 1959 61. 3 28 1978 59. 4 46 1996 73. 8 10 1960 60. 7 29 1979 59. 7 47 1997 74. 2 11 1961 59. 2 30 1980 60. 2 48 1998 73. 2 12 1962 59. 3 31 1981 59. 2 49 1999 72. 2 13 1963 58. 9 32 1982 61. 7 50 2000 73. 3 14 1964 59. 1 33 1983 63. 6 51 2001 76. 3 15 1965 59. 9 34 1984 63.
7 52 2002 76. 6 16 1966 57. 6 35 1985 64. 6 53 2003 75. 5 17 1967 57. 8 36 1986 64. 3 54 2004 76. 6 18 1968 58. 2 37 1987 65. 2 55 2005 77. 0 19 1969 58. 9 Here we may see how year after year American women were fighting and wining cent by cent nowadays amount of their salary. There are also periods when they were losing positions but on the whole we see gradual percentage growing from 63. 9% in 1951 to 77 in 2005 and the struggle continues. What do women do now? First of all more and more women enter colleges and universities and work within the chosen profession.
Women have the opportunity to act participating in operations of nongovernmental organizations as Fund of businesswomen and women-professionals, American association of businesswomen, American association of women with university education, National association of working women ect. Activity of women from nongovernmental organizations is diverse. Some of them collect money for promotion of more women in government. Others like members of American association of businesswomen offer to create unions for experience exchange and improving of professional skills for women who dream about successful career.
Many of these organizations try to influence the US government in order to pass laws oriented to support the campaign against women’s discrimination. Some of them like National women’s organization conduct national protest actions drawing attention to the most vexed women’s problems. More and more men and women get involved in movement for gender equality, send e-mails to the members of Congress or contribute money to nongovernmental organizations, because they want their daughters to have more opportunities of choice. Women in national policy. Quantity of women represented in national policy grows but that is still not equality.
In the year 2004, for example, women occupied 14 out of 100 seats in the US Senate, 59 out of 425 seats in the House of Representatives (the number of women in legislative body of the US is more than 22. 4%), 2 out of 9 seats in Supreme Court, 3 out of 15 seats in the Presidential Executive Office but there was no woman in the Cabinet. The example of nongovernmental organization working in order to increase the number of women in the US government is the Emily’s List, famous for having collect money for election to the US Senate of 6 women – which is still remains a record.
Women also write letters to the elected representatives, expressing their opinion on topical issues, aggressively intervene in local centers of republican and democrat supporters all over the country, assist to many nongovernmental women’s organizations and take part in mass political actions. One of the mass action, oriented to gain gender equality is the program “Take Our Daughters to Work”. It was started about 10 years ago in order to show to the next generation of American women the importance of education, professional women’s abilities and to organize forum for girls.
Companies permitted to the employees to bring their daughters to work at one day so that they could see the professional life of the parents. Now this day received a name “Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day”. Women’s rights movement which was so active in 60s and 70s provided millions of American women with the access to education, opportunity of career development, economical independence and strengthened their influence in political sphere.
Nowadays US women are able to achieve much more and have more opportunities to choose than 40 years ago. Major part of American women feels their responsibility to create equal society for their children. To have equal rights for American women doesn’t mean to be less feminine or less caring for their children. This is something much deeper and more global, that means they should be treated as humans whose ideas are to be taken seriously, who have the opportunity to show their power and who are respected.