Dear Future President,
I’m sure you’ve got many duties around the White House- and across the country, really- but I want to bring up a significant issue with you- and issue that has major effects over millions of people in our country each and every day.
I’m positive you know more about this issue than I do, but I want to discuss the gender-based wage gap with you. Every day, women across the country are being treated unequally and they are being paid less than a man for doing the same amount of work- and this is incredibly wrong. Just for being a female, they are being treated as a minority. This is unfair. It makes women feel not important and makes women feel as if they have no significant role in our country.
I know that trying to find a solution will be difficult, since most solutions have failed- even a law couldn’t help. I’m concerned though, by the fact that the law for pay equality has been so easily ignored throughout history. There are no consequences for breaking the law and it is being ignored by most politicians. How can we ever move forward in this country if we don’t even have equality for men and women?
It's hard to look around my classes at my male classmates and think about the fact that they will most likely earn more money than I will in the future. Not only does it make me rethink the “equality” that the United States has to offer, but it makes me wonder about my life as a woman who wants to work and wants to feel equal in a workplace.
For every dollar a man makes, a woman makes about 78 cents. I know this may not seem like a lot, or even enough to create a stir over, but imagine this: your co-worker, who works the exact same job as you do, with the same responsibilities as you, and they make $100 each week, and you make $78. In four months, they have $400 and you have $312. Now, that puts it into perspective.
Also, another myth about the gap, is that it exists because women make “life choices” that lead to being payed less. Having children is a popular belief that causes wage gap. Yes, it's true that some women like to cut back their hours after having a baby, but still, compared to men who work the same amount of hours, even after a woman cuts back, are still payed more.
And if you think it can’t get worse, it can. Much worse. African American women are payed around 63 cents for every dollar a man makes. Latina women earn 54 cents for every dollar a man makes- which is only a little more than half. To make matters worse, women of color may not even get some of the basic things a job should include, like: paid sick, family leave, flexible schedules, and others.
This issue is a real problem, and will continue to affect us for years if it is not fixed now. Years from now, I want there to be equality. A teenaged girl, in twenty years, shouldn’t have to worry about not being equal, or wondering if her male co-workers will be payed more than her. This is important- incredibly important, to the progression of our country. I think people all over the country should be proud to say they live in a country with equality, and fixing this, will be taking a step in the right direction.
With hope for a better tomorrow,