The Issue of Gender Inequality in Society

For International Women’s Day, one of our interns, Guneet Josen, wrote about discrimination against women in our society today. 

March 8th marks International Women’s Day, a global day to celebrate the accomplishments of women in society. This day is a time not only to celebrate the contributions women make to society but also to think about the gendered gaps in society that still create inequality for women.

Women are striking and marching all around the globe today to show what life would be like in “A Day Without Women.” Despite legislation and changing cultural norms, women still face discrimination in many aspects of life, but particularly in employment.

While we have made strides towards equal pay, women still only make about 79 cents to every dollar a man earns for a comparable job. This troubling statistic is even more worrisome when you keep in mind that women have surpassed men in terms of educational achievement across the United States. More women are likely to get college degrees and get post-graduate degrees than men are, yet get paid less when they enter the job market.

This gap leads to a lack of women in places of power and nowhere is it more striking than in politics. When looking at the United States Congress House of Representatives, only 104 of the 535 members are women. The United States Senate also consists of 21 out of 100 members being women. More than 70 nations have had female heads of state including nine Muslim majority nations while the United States is yet to have one.

The under representation of women in the political arena has been often theorized. One of these theories is that women are taught to avoid careers in politics. A second theory is that women tend to not acquire the skills needed to run more than men. In the most recent presidential election, Hillary Clinton was frequently targeted for being a woman. She was called hormonal, her appearance was frequently judged, and she was occasionally held as being incapable of doing the job solely based on her gender. She was attacked for how she handled her husband’s infidelities while her opponent is a known adulterer on his third marriage.

The stereotypes held against women are still used to insult them and prevent them from being on an equal level. Gender roles and expectations have prevented women from being completely equal to their male counterparts. It’s important to try and avoid stereotyping against any gender, as this creates inequality in society. Sex related discrimination is still a prevalent issue in the modern day workplace and must be addressed in order to make opportunities more equal for all citizens in the United States.

As a guest post, the views contained herein do not necessarily reflect the views of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.