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Gender has become a prevalent topic in the last few years, as it has drawn more people apart as society questions what is gender, and how many are there really. Former olympian Bruce Jenner, now Kaitlyn Jenner, has also been the topic of gender; as she has seemingly opened up many minds to the option of transgender. Despite these successes in terms of accepting more genders past the original social norms of only two genders (male and female), there is still a gender inequality that is seemingly the white elephant in every continents rooms. Women have been fighting for equality for near a decade now, and though many believe that the problem is nonexistent it still holds to be a turbulent issue throughout most of the world. Women are still seeing gaps (in comparison to men) in education, occupation, and wages earned. Though these gaps have decreased since women’s suffrage, the problem still exists and needs to be addresses. This essay looks at three large areas where women are being oppressed due to gender, and how this affects the world as a whole.
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In the United States gender within education is not considered a major issue or even an issue at all. There’s no long gender segregation in schools, and education opportunities seem to be more linked to wealth than anything else. Yet there are still a vast number of countries with education for females lacking or absent, as well as anomalies appearing dealing with gender in education. To first look at where education for females is most lacking, one must examine thirdworld countries. A team of researchers looked at how the gender inequality in education, within subSaharan African, North African and Middle Eastern countries, would alter affect women’s wage earning later in life. Two gender inequality indicators were used in order to collect data, one being the gap in female to male primary education enrolment ratios and the other being the gap in female to male secondary education enrolment ratios. In order to later compare these results to inequality in wage gaps they used time series and cross section data that was later compared with the results they got from pooled crosssections and fixed effects panel data estimations. This led them to two main conclusions, the first being that “gender inequalities in primary and secondary education exert a negative effect on income” and the second being that “this effect is stronger in MENA countries” (Baliamoune, 2015). The importance of this piece is not just to focus on the vast difference in how females are treated in schools versus males in other countries, but also the fact that this is going to have a larger impact than just gender inequality, it then goes into wage inequality which only furthers the gender inequality in a different field. When gender inequality is not addressed it is then allowed to manifest and grow until it becomes as bad a problem as it is in third world countries, which then only leads to greater inequalities in other fields.
Other countries are struggling with this problem too, as “South and West Asia has the widest gender gap in its outofschool population 80 per cent of its outofschool girls are unlikely to ever start school compared to 16 per cent of its outofschool boys” (Unicef, 2015). Yet many do not think that there is inequality in countries like America or other first world countries, yet statistics are starting to show otherwise. Globally, “an estimated 31 million girls of primary school age and 32 million girls of lower secondary school age were out of school in 2013”, though these statistics are dominantly reliant on third world country numbers, several million shockingly as well come from first world countries (Unicef, 2015). Yet in Australia, their numbers aren’t matching up with the rest of the data “of all women aged 2024, 89.5% have attained year 12 qualifications or above, compared to 83.4% of men in the same age bracket. Of all women aged 2529, 42.0% have achieved a bachelor degree or above, compared to 30.6% of men of the same age bracket. The same proportion of women (5.5%) and men (5.5%) aged 1574 attained a postgraduate degree” (Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 2015). For those who use these statistics to show that gender inequality is slowly getting better, then think about how if women are achieving more degrees then why is there still a growing inequality for women in getting jobs and a fair pay? Gender inequality is not getting better.
Often times when the issue of women not being able to find jobs as quickly as men, it is quickly retorted that women are often begged to go to engineering schools and then quickly taken into jobs upon graduation. Though there have been better advances towards getting women into math and science careers, there still are large gaps in other fields, other countries, and in general overall. In the United States alone, only 34 women have served as governors while men have had 2319 who have served; as well women make up 51% of the U.S population but only 17% of congress” (Pew Research Center, 2015). Women in politics often find it harder to gain power or jobs because of the fact that politics is often thought of as a male profession and dominated particularly by men. Women actually struggle for almost all occupations of power, which can be seen in statistics regarding the percent of women who hold “powerful” jobs;Women hold 12.0% of chair positions, 23.7% of directorships, as well as represent 17.3% of CEOs and 26.1% of key management personnel in Agency reporting organizations. One third (33.5%) of Agency reporting organizations have no key management personnel who are women” (Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 2015). This is not the only profession though that women are struggling in, as women are not only struggling to find jobs, but as well keep them with the same benefits that their male counterparts receive. It has been shown that, “more women worked parttime than full-time in three out of eight major occupations: Sales Workers; Community and Personal Service Workers; and Laborers; while more men were employed full-time than part-time in all eight occupations.” (Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 2015). This means that women have a greater chance of being employed part time compared to their equally qualified male counterpart, which means that women will then end up earning less (leading to a widening class gender gap). Struggling to get and keep the job is only part of the gender struggle, benefits for women in the workplace seem to also be lacking, “among total workers, over a quarter of women (26.5%) and a fifth of men (20.7%) did not have paid leave entitlements. In seven of the eight occupations, a larger proportion of women were without paid leave entitlements than men” (Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 2015). In essence, this means more men than women are able to have paid time off; once again allowing men to save more money over vacations or breaks, which then in return creates an even larger wage/class gender inequality.
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Wage as a factor in gender inequality has been a much discussed topic, as it has never been quite fair, and there is no doubt that it exists. The wage gap is not just a prevailing issue in third world countries but also in America, as many politicians (particularly female) has called attention to the matter. In a study conducted in Greece and other Balkan countries possible contributing factors to why there is a gender pay gap was examined. By collecting data sets from self reporting surveys, the researchers were able to come to the conclusion that “progress in gender equality at work is stalled during recession” (Anastasiou, 2015); stating that their data pointed to the facts that “Female labour force participation remains lower than male participation, women account for most unpaid work, they are overrepresented in the informal sector and among the poor, face significant wage differentials compared to their their male colleagues while female representation in senior public and private sector positions and entrepreneurship remains low” (Anastasiou, 2015). In essence they found that women were typically paid less and had a higher unemployment level when compared to men before and after the recession. Economic recessions are not isolated events, and can be seen worldwide which is why this research is key to understanding and trying to fix the gender inequality wage gap. Greece is not the only country who struggles or has ever struggled with money issues like these, it is in the fear that any country can go into recession again that it is realized that this gender gap can soon apply to more western civilizations and create an even larger global gap. It is not just countries in recessions facing gender inequality through, Australia for instance has surprising wage gaps for females versus men. For a man and woman working full time, the average gender pay gap is 17.9% with men being the ones benefiting; as well the full time average earning difference per week, between women and men, is $284.20 (Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 2015). Considering that there are just over 52 weeks in a year, this means men are making closer to $15,000 more on average per year than women. This gap is not due to the jobs available to women or the jobs that women more frequently pick, for the gender pay gap exists within certain occupational fields as well “Social sciences and agricultural science had the largest differences in starting salaries, with men respectively earning 14.3% and 11.9% more than women. …. Computer sciences was an area where women earned more than men in 2013, but where men earned more than women in 2014. Medicine had no difference in earnings between women and men in 2013, but in 2014 had a gender pay gap in favour of men (0.5%)” (Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 2015). This means that for a man and a woman in the same job, the man will be on average making quite a bit more than his female counterpart, which can be seen better through the average weekly fulltime earning gender gap seen in main jobs. For instance for female technicians and trade workers the gender pay gap is 33.2% and for sales workers, even though retail is considered a particularly female dominated occupation, it’s still 15.5% (Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 2015). As these percents may not show the full seriousness of the matter; a woman who is working as a technician or trades worker can be expecting to make $904, while her male counterpart is making near double of that at $1,353 (Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 2015).This shows that there is an increasing wage gap, not only in third world countries, but in developed nations. This wage gap in gender can then affect education and access to education, as those individuals will then not have the money to provide education for themselves but also possibly for their children. This then turn becomes a cycle of inequality for women worldwide.
Through the evidence and research displayed it has been delineated that there is for sure multiple types of gender inequality worldwide. Education for women tends to be lacking or nonexistent in third world countries, but there are still first world countries where there is a disadvantage for education for women. This inequality needs to be a top societal priority since “providing girls with an education helps break the cycle of poverty: educated women are less likely to marry early and against their will; less likely to die in childbirth; more likely to have healthy babies; and are more likely to send their children to school. When all children have access to a quality education rooted in human rights and gender equality, it creates a ripple effect of opportunity that influences generations to come.” (Unicef, 2015). As well there are trends discerning the facts that there are also inequalities within occupations and wages for women. Until these issues can be thoroughly addressed women will remain oppressed by being stuck in their class or having to constantly move down classes. This is due to the fact that men have more opportunities in terms of education for the most part, which leads to them then having an access to higher paying jobs and then higher wages. Though statistics show that in some countries women are more educated, the inequality has worsened so that it doesn’t matter, they are still being paid less and having a harder time finding jobs. This social issue can only lead to a large gender gap, which can only mean that women will have to resort to their gender norms in order to survive. This means men can remain the breadwinners, who bring home all the money, while the women who are already at a disadvantage of getting money) will have to remain at home where they can be at more use. This cycle is only detrimental to society and needs change.
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