What is the difference between men and women?
There is no difference so why are men earning more than women in the 21st century. There is this preconceived idea that men are more decisive and women are slow at making decisions even if that the case why does personality traits or even assumptions about women come into play when it comes to pay. When I ask my friends if the gender pay gap exists or even if they think that men earn more than them they automatically say “that’s not true” or “it doesn’t exist”. This evident within many groups; a U.S study has shown that many individuals are unaware of the gender pay gap. (Tharenou, 2012) They honestly believe that men and women are equal; little do they know that women in the 2015 earn less and are paid less than men and that they are practically working for free and in addition to that the gender pay gap is at 14.2%. (Topping, 2015)
The UN reports that the gender pay gap will not close for another 70 years at the current state; the ILO also has revealed that the gender pay gap has not changed for the last 20 years therefore the fight for equality continues. Thus this makes it an important issue for the global political economy because however hard women work they might never get what they deserve moneywise like men do. (Topping, 2015)
Women have the capacity to perform the way men do in jobs therefore they should receive the same pay. In addition women need to be given the same platforms as men so that gender equality at the workplace can be achieved. When women are empowered it creates a better workplace because women won’t feel that they need to work twice as hard as the men in order to get the recognition that they deserve.
The unfair pay gap occurs in a wide range of professions; Hollywood has been under scrutiny in the past few months because the wage gap between male and female stars are evident. Women in the film industry earn a lower wage compared to their male counterparts and this is also evident with athletes; England’s women’s football team earn around £20,000 per year and the average male premier league team player earns an average of £1.6 million a year. (Bates, 2015)
This shows the extent of how little women earn compared to men and how unfair that being born a certain gender men’s you have more privilege than the other. I think that those privileged men need to stand up for women’s rights and help eradicate the gender pay gap that exists today so that we can live in an equal society. In this day and age success is measured by how much money you have, how many houses you’ve got, how many cars you’ve got, basically material things matter the most. If a woman earns a substantial amount of money especially if she’s a single mother she is able to be independent, buy a house, buy a car, pay for healthcare, educate and take care of her children. Therefore gender roles are reversed because she is able to take care of herself, rather than depending on the man to provide all these things. If the gender pay gap exists she is not able to achieve these milestones; she will always rely on the man because the man will always be able to earn a better wage than her which is unfair. Gender should not be able to dictate how much money one earns or even how professional they are. (Tharenou, 2012)
The fact that many people still believe that there is equality within the workplace makes it harder for the gender pay gap to be closed; therefore people need to be made aware of the impacts of male privilege and we need to help break the glass ceiling. Society makes it even harder because everything is perceived in male way. “If society does not believe that women need to earn as much money as men for comparable work, as indicated for U.S. data, then it is probable that women will continue to be paid less in a conscious and/or unconscious bias against them”. (Tharenou, 2012)
I dream of a day when men and women will be equal, social, economically and politically. And I hope that I live to see that day.
Bates, L. (2015). Ten facts you might not know about the gender pay gap | Laura Bates. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/10/ten-things-you-should-know-about-the-gender-pay-gap [Accessed 12 Dec. 2015].
Topping, A. (2015). Gender pay gap will not close for 70 years at current rate, says UN. [online] the Guardian. Available at: http://www.theguardian.com/money/2015/mar/05/gender-pay-gap-remain-70-years-un [Accessed 12 Dec. 2015].
Tharenou, P. (2012). The Work of Feminists is Not Yet Done: The Gender Pay Gap—a Stubborn Anachronism. Sex Roles, [online] 68(3-4), p.199. Available at: http://link.springer.com.ezproxy.mdx.ac.uk/article/10.1007%2Fs11199-012-0221-8 [Accessed 12 Dec. 2015].