November 6, 2016
Dear Future President,
The United States as a nation has fought for equality time and time again. Women were granted suffrage on August 18th, 1920. It was a long battle, and a very controversial topic at the time, but now it’s undeniable that women have earned this right. Even more so, it seems strange, unconstitutional even, to think that there was ever a time where a woman’s right to vote was in question. So, if it’s unconstitutional for women to be denied the right to vote, why isn’t it unconstitutional for women to receive equal pay? I’m aware that the United States has a lot of pressing issues, but the wage gap situation needs to be addressed, and resolved. I am passionate about this topic not only because I’m a woman, and the women before me fought long and hard for equality, but also because this is the future that my potential daughters will have to face. If this issue isn’t resolved now, when will it be? How much longer are women going to have to wait, until their fight for equality, in all aspects, is laid to rest?
Women make a considerably less amount of money than men. According to The American Association of University Women (AAUW), in 2015, women working full time, were paid only 80 percent of what men were paid. Because of the slow progress in the wage gap process, women are not predicted to reach pay equality until 2152. That’s 136 more years that women have to wait to reach the equal pay that they have literally worked for.
It’s common knowledge, that the more education you have, the better job you get, the more money you make. It would be inaccurate to say that the wage gap only occurs because women do not have the same level of education, or job title, as their male competitors. According to AAUW, at every level of education, women’s median earnings are less than men’s median earnings, and in some cases, the wage gap is larger at higher levels of education.
I am aware that this is an issue that cannot be resolved overnight, but there are steps that need to be taken to ensure that a wage gap will no longer be a detrimental factor in women's lives. As President, you have a lot on your hands already. I know this. I also know that, as President, it’s your job to promote and provide guidelines that lead to a better future for all citizens. Women included. Women should be able to talk about their wage gap concerns, with their employer, without fearing their job. Protect women, and prohibit forms of retaliation against those brave enough to bring up the discussion. Enforce The Paycheck Fairness Act, that would improve upon the Equal Pay Act, which hasn’t been updated since 1963. It’s no secret that times have changed since then, and our country needs to acknowledge this change, and change with it. Change is scary, and hard to enforce, but without change, our country will no longer be able to thrive in modern times. Tell Congress to take action for equal pay.
"Paycheck Fairness Act." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.
"The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap (Fall 2016)." AAUW: Empowering Women Since 1881. N.p., n.d. Web. 07 Nov. 2016.