Dear Next President,
I believe that a long overdue issue in the United States should be resolved. I’m talking about discrimination against women. Men and women are treated differently in many places, including the workplace. One example of this inequality is in the paycheck. According to the American Association of University Women, women who work full-time year-round are paid only 80% of what men are paid. I think that this needs to change. After all, when we work, we work to benefit our society and ourselves.
We should be paying everyone equally based on the work that they do, not differentiating on any factor. For every dollar that a man makes, his female counterpart makes about $0.78. But that’s not all, women of color are paid even less. Compared to a white, non-Hispanic man, Latina women are paid only 54%, African American women at 64%, Native Hawaiians/Pacific Islanders are paid 65%, American Indians/Alaska Natives are at 59%, and Asian-American women are paid 90% (as stated by the Center for American Progress). None of these numbers are 100% like they should be. This wage gap results in a huge loss of money for women. According to the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), the amount women aren’t paid adds up to about $10,740. This could cover most expenses for 3 months, pay student debt for half a year, and pay for 9 tanks of gas. Women lose that much annually which adds to any debt/economic issues.
This issue affects all ages and families. The children of lesbian couples and single moms are affected because their family may not make as much money as others, young women are faced with this because as soon as they get jobs, they’re already facing discrimination, mothers are affected by this because they aren’t making as much money as the fathers, and old women are affected by this because they may not have enough money for retirement. Also, transgender women are affected because now they’re being paid less than before their transition. According to the US Census Bureau, 50.9% of the population is female. We’re treating over half of our population differently solely on how they want to be identified.
That brings me to another thing. More and more now, people are changing their gender/pronouns. There are over 50 gender options on Facebook, according to the New York Times. We won’t be able to just have male and female if we want to make sure everyone is represented and treated the way they want to be treated. People are discovering more and more options and it would be simpler to just have one salary for a certain job. If you do this, then people get rewarded for just their job not anything else because that’s what a salary is; payment based on your job. But, identification is a whole other topic.
Some people may say that this whole equal salary thing sounds good in theory, but will take a toll on small businesses and emerging entrepreneurs, such as Susan Collins. After the Paycheck Fairness Act failed to pass through, she said, “I think this bill would result in excessive litigation that would impose a real burden, particularly on small businesses. So I think the existing laws are adequate.” She also went to say that we shouldn’t all jump to conclusions and that we shouldn’t assume discrimination (according to TakePart.com). While it may be true that equal pay could affect small businesses, they should be willing to pay for all their workers equally, if not, it is in fact, a matter of discrimination. The pay literally depends on what race you are and what sex you are. Discrimination is treating someone differently based on certain qualities. So, that is actually a form of discrimination.
I believe that we should update the Equal Pay Act (which has been a law for over 50 years but has failed to do what it’s name states-equal out pay) and close up any loopholes. While it has done some good, it hasn’t finished it’s job. And to do that we should fight for the Paycheck Fairness Act. If we have this we can truly get “equal pay for equal work.” It may be harsh on small businesses (like I said above to the Susan Collins quote), but we could improve families’ lifestyles and give everyone a fair chance. We should stop discriminating and start treating everyone equally.
After all doesn’t our Pledge state, “indivisible with liberty and justice for all,”?
Petrohilos, Dylan. “The Gender Wage Gap By Race.” The Gender Wage Gap Is A Chasm For Women of Color, thinkprogress.org.
“The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap (Fall 2016).” AAUW: Empowering Women Since 1881, http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/.
By StateFact SheetAdvancing Equal Pay: Innovative Employer ApproachesFact SheetThe Wage Gap Over TimeFact SheetFAQ About The Wage GapFact SheetsHow the Paycheck Fairness Act Will Strengthen the Equal Pay ActMyths and Facts: What the Paycheck Fairness Act . “Equal Pay and the Wage Gap Archives - NWLC.” NWLC Equal Pay and the Wage Gap Issue, https://nwlc.org/issue/equal- pay-and-the-wage-gap/.
“Pay Equity &Amp; Discrimination.” — IWPR, http://www.iwpr.org/initiatives/pay-equity-and- discrimination.
“Chapter XVI. Age and Sex Composition of the Family.” Family Growth in Metropolitan America, doi:10.1515/9781400876419-020.
By Milia Fisher | Tuesday, April 14, 2015. “Women of Color and the Gender Wage Gap.” Name, https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/report/2015/04/14/110962/women-of-color-and- the-gender-wage-gap/.
Pasulka, Nicole. “Why These Republican Women Voted Against Equal Pay for All.” TakePart, http://www.takepart.com/feature/2014/09/16/republican-women-equal-pay
Tuckner, Jack. “Women Like Men, Only Cheaper.” Women´s Rights In The Workplace.