War on Women Part 4A in Social Issues Series

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I suppose that the question is:  Is there indeed a war on women?  In this post I will be discussing wage inequality.  Once I started to research this subject, I realized that unless I wanted to post a truly long article I’d never cover the subject in just one post.   Next week I’ll post a discussion on reproductive rights, the pink tax, and other related social concerns.

Barack Obama Quote - Equal pay for women

In this discussion there are many aspects regarding this “war”.  The first that I’ll be tackling is a little something that we call “wage inequality”.   It’s pretty much a known and accepted fact that women doing the exact same job, with the same or even more experience are generally paid less than their male counterparts.  Here is a story from my own life that illustrates this point:  In the 1980’s I graduated from college with a B.A. and a B.S. degree.  I found that I couldn’t find a job that I even remotely liked, so decided to get my Paralegal Certificate since I found the law to be interesting.  I did so by working days and going to school at night.  After I received my Certificate I got a job working for the largest law firm in CT as a paralegal.  After I had worked there for a number of months, by “mistake” I discovered that another “paralegal” – a young man my age, and hired after I was, made $10,000.00 a year more than I did.  Was this person more qualified than I was?  No, he had a GED – no college degree, no previous experience, no paralegal certificate, nothing.  When I questioned this fact, I was told that because he was a man he “deserved” to be paid more.  Remember, this was a law firm that was discriminating on gender.  Needless to say, I began a job search immediately.  However this income disparity affected my life.  I was lucky enough to be able to live with my parents, however, if I too had been making an additional $10,000.00 I would have been able to have my own little apartment.  As it was, even though I ended up working for four different law firms, my income never increased over an additional $2,000.00.

There is an interesting fact that if you’re a woman, not only do you make less, you have less.  Less money, less buying power, less Social Security, less pension (if you’re lucky enough to have a pension).  This “less than” follows you through your entire life, affecting the poverty level and the need for public assistance.  https://www.census.gov/newsroom/press-releases/2015/cb15-97.html  http://nwlc.org/resources/how-wage-gap-hurts-women-and-families/

Women who earn less have less opportunity.  They cannot afford to go to college and “pull themselves up by their bootstraps”; they cannot afford to save and send their children to college, creating a catch 22 where the cycle will never be broken.  This creates a social problem.  People on assistance are often harassed at the grocery store; their living conditions may be under par; they may not be able to pay for child care; and often the food they can afford is not nutritional.

I’m including the following links for you edification.  Please go and read them.  Let me know what you think about wage inequality.  Do you think it’s real?  Has it affected your life?  Please leave comments, I’d like to know your experiences.

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http://www.dailykos.com/stories/2016/1/3/1464280/-It-sucks-to-be-a-woman-in-the-United-States?detail=email

http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/

http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/04/14/on-equal-pay-day-everything-you-need-to-know-about-the-gender-pay-gap/

http://thinkprogress.org/economy/2014/09/15/3567740/republicans-paycheck-fairness-act/

 

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