Gender inequality is defined as the difference in status, power, and privileges between people of opposite sexes identified as women and men. The extent of women’s involvement in politics and in discourses of governance is of great concern globally. An example of the story on this topic was covered in the Time Magazine published on the March 26, 2012. The article headed “The Richer $ex: Women Are Overtaking Men as America’s Breadwinners. Why That’s Good for Everyone” was published by Liza Munday. The article noted that there was an increasingly narrowing gap between men and women in American society. The gap was demonstrated by the rate at which women, both whites and blacks, took up employment opportunities from the 1940s moving forward. Despite this progress, inequality has continued to persist in the United States in many forms, taking silent tones. The article identifies them as inequality in political representation and participation and discrimination in employment and occupation. Another fact of inequality is gaps in pay due to gender among other salient forms.
Various press reports in the country indicate that the World Economic Forum in 2012 ranked the United States 22nd best in terms of gender equality out of 135 countries thereby validating these strides. Going by the aforementioned, it is safe to postulate that though, on a diminishing trend, gender inequality and discrimination are still rife in the U.S. socioeconomic and political dynamics. The paper looks into the instances of inequality in the U.S. political arena, its forms, as well as efforts the governing class is putting in place to address the disparity.
Gender Inequality in the U.S.
There have been intense publications throughout the U.S. making indications of disparity with gender undertones. The March 26 article published in Time Magazine proclaimed that women in the United States are outdoing their men counterparts in terms of earnings and, as such, have more purchasing power. It was misconstrued by many people to mean that the women have had a facelift from inequality and discrimination. The magazine quotes a figure to show a change in earning ability, hence, dismissing gender disparity as a thing of the past. The article indicated that almost 40% of wives were making more money than their husbands that they live together with. Further, it reports that the U.S. college student population is made up of up to 60% of female students with most of them pursuing higher degree programs such as doctorate and masters. In the majority of metropolises, most young people of feminine gender earn more per dollar than their male colleagues. It has not been the factual point, as it is always meant to shift attention to other areas without further interrogation of the gender profile of the U.S. It is proved by the rating of the U.S. in gender compliance made by the World Economic Forum.
In their article, Trust Women argue that equality is a complex facet that cannot be gauged by earning power in isolation. Moreover, there are clear instances showing gender-based discrimination. The first is that there are glaring gaps persisting overall between men and women in full-time working: median weekly earnings of the women are only 81% of men’s earnings for doing the same work. Concerning managerial posts, the magazine continues to illustrate in its report that there has been a very lean margin of the rise in the number of women with managerial portfolios from 35 to 38% over the last 20 years.
The U.S. Bureau of Census conducted in 2015 indicates that the U.S. population was made up of up to 50.8% women in 2010. In the same year, the bureau showed that women constituted up to half of the workers’ population. The only problem was the strength of the office they held. In most cases, men are considered senior, and there is quite a disparity in the manner in which promotions are processed. The Census revealed that men constituted the majority of the management of top corporations and organizations, both public and private, in very skewed and unrepresentative numbers.
Further, DuBois and Dumerill raised doubts on the assumption of the U.S. has won the game by pointing out instances of unfair treatment of women as a show of inequality. For example, in the mid-19th century, in the height of the cold war between the USA and the USSR, the institution of family was embraced and acts of unfaithfulness greatly condemned. However, it was skewed against women, as they were strictly expected to observe fidelity while men were allowed to engage in amorous adventures.
In another instance, to demonstrate inequality, Dorothy McBride in her book Women’s Right’s in the U.S.A.: Policy Debates to Gender Roles, published in 1997, singles out the football incidence where funding towards football clubs is hugely skewed towards men’s clubs compared to women’s clubs. She authenticates the thesis statement of this paper by recalling when Congress passed the chapter IX of the public financing bill. The bill prohibited gender-based skewed allocation of money to sporting activities to the students in federally funded colleges. The presidents of the sporting clubs, who were mainly male, vehemently defended and indeed protected the funds given to them from any form of a demand to use it along gender fairness lines. It is a clear demonstration of the solidly deep-seated feeling of discrimination and inequality.
Strength of Women
Appreciating the capabilities of women and their track record would help a great deal in the campaign against their discrimination based on sex in the U.S. and the larger world. In a study conducted in 2012, DuBois and Dumerill exemplify the milestones that women achieved single-handedly without any supposed help from male colleagues. For example, women strongly participated in the struggle to bring equality to society. Mary McLeod stood out for the forming of the national council for Negro Women (NCNW) in 1950 to fight for their rights.
A classical milestone of this struggle for civil rights was depicted in 1955, when Rosa Park, a Negro, refused to give up her bus seat for a white man. Women-centered organizations also stood to be counted against Hitler’s mass killings of 6 million Jewish at a time when it was least expected. They were National Council of Catholic Women and National Council of Jewish Women. President Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor as the first woman justice of the Supreme Court. It was a milestone in appreciation of the capacity of women. She went on to perform splendidly. It moved on to the likes of Hillary Clinton of today who is gunning for the white house in coming elections.
Steps towards Gender Equality in the U.S.
There has been a strong indication of political and government goodwill to comply with the agitation of fair gender representations in the U.S. Through women’s intellectual empowerment initiative, the government established the commission for women’s education, which emphasized the need for educated and qualified women in the nation-building. DuBois and Dumerill noted that it was a boost for the clamor regarding more education opportunities for women and, hence, improved employability. Within private organizations, equality policy can be reinforced by showcasing their successful women executives to dispel the notion of women’s incapability. The corporate can also publicize their strides and efforts towards achieving balance inequality.
Besides, the policy must provide for equal opportunity in hiring, training, and promotions. Another stringent requirement is that the organizations and public offices should put in place a strong measure for avoiding sexual harassments. If there be any, they should handle the cases amicably and fairly if need be. The corporate organizations are also required to establish a policy ensuring no discrimination practices are entertained and the employees offered psycho-social support that addresses their unique needs.
Barriers to Gender Equality in the U.S.
Barreto and his colleagues outline the various barriers for women on their way up despite the 1984 glass ceiling breakthrough. They explain and bring the subtle barriers that women encounter in their bid to advancement and success in leadership positions into a major focus. They point out that women have been failed deliberately by being recruited to the positions that have a high risk of failure. It dents their image, leading to the stereotype that women are failures in upper-level offices. Other barriers have been a form of tokenism in politics, just playing to public gallery and PR. The women’s appointments, in this case, are made in unequal proportions to men just to fill up the gaps. Another barrier is sexual harassment.
Gender mainstreaming is a global policy pushed by the United Nations to ensure that gender inequality that has prevailed in many nations is addressed. With particular reference to the U.S. sociopolitical dynamics, this policy has, to a great deal, succeeded in bridging the gap. As shown in this paper, the country has achieved a 50-50 balance of workforce for each gender. It is important to appreciate that gender mainstreaming. Indeed, equality has many benefits such as the doubling of the talent pool of leaders, as more women return to the workforce in senior positions. There is also increased retention of employees. Further, in its report, the World Economic Forum establishes a nexus between higher business economic competitiveness and low gender gaps. The U.S. government, however, has made several meaningful strides in ensuring full compliance. The move is in progress and is achievable gradually.