Woman's Rights: Still a Long Way To Go
Woman’s rights, a continuous battle, politically, economically, and socially rages on today with the same vigilance as it had coming out of the civil war and moving into the woman’s suffrage movement. It has been over 100 years since woman gained the right to vote in the United States. We continue to fight for equal pay for equal work, acceptance in the work place and competition, and in financial matters. Certain areas of the country are more progressive in their support and installment of woman’s rights. However, it remains clear, even after 100 years, women are still seen as inferior to men in the United States. The divide becomes greater when women of color are considered.
“That man over there says that women need to be helped into carriages, and lifted over ditches, and to have the best place everywhere. Nobody ever helps me into carriages, or over mud-puddles, or gives me any best place! And ain’t I a woman?” (Truth,1851)
In 1851, Sojourner Truth, a freed slave spoke at the Ohio Woman’s Convention in Akron. She was the only woman who spoke that day who had ever been held as a slave. Though what she said that day has fallen under much debate through the years, it was a true calling for woman, especially of color, to stand up and walk alongside men as equals. It was noted that Truth had 3 distinct periods in her life, slavery, evangelism, and antislavery feminism. It was her fierce pursuit of woman’s rights that is still celebrated today.
Woman all over the world are fighting for their rights to be seen as equals. There are still some cultures where women are observed as possessions, like owning real estate or a cow. In most first world countries woman hold the right to make their own decisions about education, marriage, property ownership, political affiliations, clothing and hairstyles, et cetera... Yet, here in the United States one of the biggest areas we still see women trailing equality to men is in the workplace. In 2020, women were earning an average of $0.80 per every dollar a man was making. With the biggest gaps in top white-collar professions like CEO, surgeon, attorney, and professional athlete. In 2019, the Woman’s U.S. soccer team filed a lawsuit against U.S. Soccer with regards to the gross differences in pay.
“Female soccer players earn a much smaller bonus in the World Cup ($15,000) than male players ($55,000). Here’s a stark comparison: the U.S. Soccer Federation awarded the men’s team a $5.4 million bonus after losing in Round 16 of the 2014 World Cup. It awarded the women’s team $1.7 million when it won the entire 2015 tournament (Bendery, 2019).”
This lawsuit was dismissed in April of 2020, on the grounds that the women were paid in accordance to the revenue they generated. The judge didn’t dismiss the facts that these women were paid less, or that they had a far more superior performance record then the U.S. Men’s national team. He did however consider the percentages of wage earned when compared to the revenue generated by the performance of each team.
In the following clip CNN breaks down the gender pay gap found in U.S. National level soccer https://youtu.be/cO-IkUP4lJs . They also cover the smoke and mirrors around the Paycheck Fairness Act and it’s continuous in and out of consideration at the White House. Through the extensive list, provided in this video, of how Congress has found ways around considering the Paycheck Fairness Act it is clear that at this time our government feels they have done all they can to address the discrepancy between what a woman makes in comparison to a man in her same field. It will take more women, more women of all walks of life, raising their voices to be heard before fairness will be seen in this respect to women in the U.S.
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Bendery, J. (June 12, 2019). Chuck Schumer Says U.S. Women's National Soccer Team Is
Still Not Paid Fairly. Huffington Post
Budryk, Z. (January, 11, 2021) Jobs report shows significant gender gap: analysis. The
Elsesser, K. (May 4, 2020) Judge Dismisses U.S. Women’s Soccer Equal Pay Case —
Here’s Why. Forbes.
Gaughan, B. (1983). Women: Our Political Education. The Delta Kappa Gamma Bulletin,
Painter, N. (1996). Sojourner Truth: a life, a symbol (1st ed.). p.113. W.W. Norton.
Smiet, K. (2015). Post/secular truths: Sojourner Truth and the intersections of gender,
race, and religion. The European Journal of Women’s Studies, 22(1), 7–21.