Dear Next President,
On January 29, 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act in order to preserve the nation’s principles. Our nation was founded on the idea that everyone is created equal and that everyone should get an equal chance to pursue their own definition of happiness. He understood that women should be equal to men and started to make change for the benefit of the people. The wage gap between men and women has been getting cut down over the years, however it’s still not enough. Why are we holding citizens of our country back? Doesn’t this completely contrast the beliefs that this country was founded on? If a woman does as much work as a man does, then she should get paid the same amount of money as him.
There are so many factors that can be taken into account when talking about women gaining pay equity. Do women generally choose lower paying jobs? Do more women work part-time than men? Research from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) states that in 1960, women that worked full-time and year-round were only getting paid 60% of what men were. In 2015, women were still only getting paid 80% of what men were making. The AAUW says, “At the rate of change between 1960 and 2015, women were expected to reach pay equity with men in 2059. But even that slow progress has stalled in recent years. If change continues at the slower rate seen since 2001, women will not reach pay equity with men until 2152.” The laws of the land are supposed to progress along with the nation however it seems like more problems are rising and there are less people willing to solve them.
Business Insider provides a closer look into product price differences for men and women. In certain places, common artifacts cost more for women than they do for men. Women are paid less and are then charged more for simple things such as razors and dry cleaning clothes. Not only that, but women also pay more for long-term care insurance. Women are normally charged about 13% more just because they’re expected to live longer. However it is not just women that end up suffering from this, there ends up being a spin-off effect and families also lose part of an income. Not only do women get paid less, but their products also sell for more expensive. A California study revealed that women pay an average of $1,351 more a year than men for the same priced products. This study brought awareness to the people and eventually lead to California banning gender-discriminatory pricing. So far though, no other state has followed in their footsteps.
As our country changes and progresses, our laws also need to do the same. Instead of moving our country forward, this is holding us back. To begin, I suggest updating the Equal Pay Act by adding the Paycheck Fairness Act. Since it hasn’t been updated since 1963, it will need stronger incentives for employers to follow. Companies should conduct salary audits to monitor and address these gender-biased wage gaps. As for women, we need to learn better strategies for negotiating. Morally, women shouldn’t have to wait for trickle down change. Future president, don’t you think that this has gone on for far too long?