It’s well known that for every dollar a man makes, the average woman makes 0.82 cents. Isn’t that just pure madness? Women gain only 82% of what a man does for the same amount of time, same work and level of education. Women have been treated like second class citizens or not even human at all for a long time. We can see this from the wage gap still being alive till this day.
During the Progressive Movement, women worked in factories, however, factory owners hired women with the intention of paying them less for the same amount of work. Women earned so much less. They were being used. Florence Kelley advocated for the rights of women. Meanwhile, Muller v. Oregon protected women workers and restricted women to a 10 hour work day, which was redeemed constitutional but nothing was done about the differences in pay.
Fast forward a little bit to 1942. The National War Labour Board of 1942 (which lasted until 1945) administered wage control in multiple jobs such as: shipping, railways,airlines, telegraph lines and mining. They fought for an 8 hour work day and equal pay for women. Unions were born to fight for basic rights of the unprivileged such as children and women. The board pressured the multiple industries to pass compromises. Nonetheless, this didn’t lead to success just because people advocated for their and others rights. Labour disputes led to strikes and protests, however, this didn’t stop the movements.
Soon came the Equal Pay Day of 1963 (June 11), a law that banned women and men from receiving different pay wages for doing the same jobs. This was signed by former President John F. Kennedy as part of JFK’s New Frontier Program which was against wage discrimination. This made racial, religious and sex discrimination illegal. However, this plan completely fell off by specific flaws and court rulings.
Another Equal Pay Act was already sent in place and still active and intact until this day. The California Equal Pay Act was created in 1949 and it guarantees that an employer can properly pay the employee without sex being a factor. Governor Brown signed this bill in 2015. This was a large step into fighting for gender pay equality. Racial and ethnicity based discrmination was added on January 1,2017.
Many have wondered: If the Wage Gap is so problematic and so made aware, why is it still a thing? Unfortunately, sexism and racism is prominent everywhere. Jobs dominated by men lead to women being underpaid, especially POC women.POC women have to wait MONTHS just to earn exactly what white men do. Asian/ Pacific Islander Women wait until March 9. Black Women wait unitl August 3. Native Women until September 8. Latinas wait until October 21. Black Women, on the other hand, earn 70% of what white men do. Black Women and Latinas that have a bachelors STILL have a 65% gap. Single mothers have it bad too. For example, they make 54 cents for every dollar a single father earns and non-single moms make 3 quarters per dollar a man makes.
As you know, the pandemic has greatly affected everyone and everything especially the pay gap. Women were out of jobs and this added to the stop of the pay gap. It’s estimated that the pay gap would end in 100 years and was extended to 136 years instead.
The real question is, What would happen if the pay gap suddenly ended? Poverty for women would be reduced by half, developing countries would become richer and the economy would benefit.
Advocating for basic respect is repetitive in our modern world all the time since our human rights are somehow always violated.Nobody should be fighting to get paid fairly.