Halimo A. Minnesota

Gender Pay Gap

It's time that women around the world are paid just as much as men.

Dear Future President,

It's time that women around the world are paid just as much as men. It’s almost 2017 and the fact that this hasn't been done yet offends women everywhere. It’s time to put an end to the gender pay gap because the pay gap adds up in a lifetime, because women of color are paid even less, and finally because closing the gender pay gap promotes social justice and equal opportunity.

The pay gap does add up, 80 cents to a dollar (Institute for Women's Policy Research) may not seem like that big of a difference, but over time it becomes much more. According to CNN Money, “In 2014, the median income for men who worked full-time was $50,383, for women, it was $39,621.” That’s $10,762 difference. According to The LA Times “In California, the difference is $8,000 per year.” That's a lot of money and while people are aware of this giant difference, there hasn't been anything done to diminish it. According to CNN Money, “It will take 118 years for the economic gap between men and women to close.” We shouldn’t have to wait that long. We need change now.

If it wasn't bad enough that women are being paid less than men, women of color are being paid even less than white women. According to the AAUW (American Association of University Women) “Many women of color tend to be paid less than their white peers even when they have the same educational background.” There's a 36 cent difference for black women and a 44 cent difference for Latinas compared to white women. It's true that women of color are more likely to hold hourly wage jobs and to work in lower-paid fields (Huffington post), which contributes to them making less money; but according to the U.S. Census Bureau, “Out of about 12 million single parent families in 2015, more than 80% were headed by single mothers.” Many women also have to take care of family and other expenses. These women are running households on their own and need and deserve pay equity.

Closing the gender pay gap will create an equal society. In 2015, female full-time workers made only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 20 percent. (Institution for Women’s Policy Research) Taking into account that 40% of the women in the US are the breadwinners in the family, making less money can take a toll on a family. (PEW Research Center) There is also still a 7% wage gap between male and females after graduation. According to the European Commission “ The at-risk-of-poverty rate is around 22% for women over 65, compared to 16% of men over 65.” Pay equity is simply a matter of fairness, and sometimes it's also the key to families making ends meet. Putting an end to this wage gap is a way that we can begin to create an equal society.

While many think that the pay gap is a myth, they need to realize that it does exist. It's a real thing treating women in this country very unfairly. It's time that the world opened their eyes and get something done about this.

Thank you for your time,

Halimo Ali Hashi

St. Paul Central High School

Approaching Analysis - Hours 2 and 3

This is a sophomore honors class at St. Paul Central High School in St. Paul, Minnesota.

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