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home : opinions : opinions May 1, 2016

4/3/2014 10:34:00 AM
The gender income gap
Shantel Pierce
Shantel Pierce
Fighting injustice: MHLT students write about a changing world

‘Being the change we wish to see in the world’

There are many ways that people discriminate, or treat each other badly, in our society.  

It’s happened in many ways throughout history, and it continues today. MHLT students recently chose from a list of topics relating to a specific social injustice and spent two weeks writing, drafting, editing, and revising persuasive essays.  

Their freedom of choice and opportunity to take the topic wherever they wanted really motivated the students.  

Students are reading “Night” by Elie Wiesel.  

This essay was a good introduction to the themes and elements of injustice covered in the class novel. Later in the year during social studies, the students will be learning about World War II and the Holocaust – so this essay is full circle and cross-curricular. 

The students enjoyed researching and voicing their opinions within this writing assignment. Throughout the year student have discussed ideas of utopia/dystopia, justice/intolerance, dreams/memories, free will, and survival.

By Shantel Pierce
MHLT Student

What words would you use in describing injustice? 

Unfair, discrimination, and unequal were all common answers when asking fellow classmates, but what truly is injustice? 

Injustice is defined as the “lack of fairness or justice” (behavior or treatment) which plays an important role in the gender income gap. 

The gender income gap is the inequality of the payments between men and women in the same job professions. Today the average working woman gets paid about 25 percent less than the average working man. 

I feel that women should have the opportunity to earn the same amount of working pay as men, to eliminate the gender income gap we should make the public more aware about the income gap, look back toward history to find changes that have progressed over time, and create a law that states if women are properly educated in their job and profession they should have the capability of receiving equal pay as men.

How can we, as a nation, work together to resolve issues connected to the gender income gap if many Americans aren’t aware of the income gap or don’t have the proper knowledge of finding ways to resolve it? One solution to this problem is creating awareness through advertisements and/or public speakings. For the public speakings they would state factual information about the gender income gap and how it affects women all around the U.S. The speakings would also provide advice and tips on how to properly spend and save money to the ones being affected by the gap. A second solution is showing the nation what the 25 percent adds up to over periods of time. 

One real life experience includes both a male and a female cashier. The male cashier’s monthly pay was $650 while the female’s pay was around $625. Over a year’s period (12 months), the male made over $7,800 and the female only received $7,500. This $300 gap could have helped provide the female with more of the elements needed to help her survive, food, clothing, shelter, etc. 

One last solution includes either protests or rallies. Both protests and rallies will help cause the word to spread of the inequalities of the payments between men and women, and will also cause people all around the nation to come together to fight for something they truly believe in. 

In conclusion, if Americans were to be more aware and educated in the topic of the gender income gap, we would more likely come together to find a proper solution in resolving the gap. 

From the 1900s to today there has been a various amount of changes, opinions, and cause and effect reactions. In the early 1900s women were considered to be housewives and were allowed to take place in certain jobs. 

Some job examples included nurses, teachers, and just watching over the children. A second example includes the views on women and their rights and how they’ve changed. One historical example is the time periods before and after World War I. Before the war, women were underestimated and were considered to be weak and useless, but when war was declared on Germany it caused the men to help serve in the war leaving women with the opportunity to take the places of the men, including in their jobs. 

This event showed women have the capability of doing the same work as men. Since then, men and women have been working together in many of the same workforces, but some jobs are still restricted to women because men still think that women don’t have the capability of handling certain situations. 

Another change is the mark-up prices on everyday items. For example, one commonly bought and needed food item is milk. In the 1990s, a gallon of milk cost about $2.80, but today we pay about $3.50 for a gallon, that’s a 70-cent mark-up. Though we may not be able to fix or change our history we can always look back toward it to make for a better tomorrow.

One law could be the end of the gender income gap. This law would be creating equal payments between both genders and races. Facts have shown while the average working white women gets paid around 25 percent less than the average working white man, Asians and African Americans get paid 5-10 percent less than the average working white woman. Another impact this law would have is the raise of the dedication between women and their education. The more dedication a woman may puts forth into her education, the more she could benefit and support her working environment and the people that surround it. 

This may result in a higher paying job. 

Lastly, it would eliminate work-related stress. Because of the equal payments, women would more likely be more calm and focused on completing their job requirements properly than rushing and competing to do extra work to get a raise to help support themselves and their families. 

If passed, this law would create a happier, healthier working environment for everyone.

I feel that women should get the same working pay as men. 

The creating awareness, looking back upon our history, and the creating of the equal payments law are all important elements in helping eliminating the gender income gap. 

Together all these changes will create a working environment with no stereotypes, no discrimination, and equal pay between men and women, but there’s still always one thing to remember when it comes to change – it doesn’t happen on its own – it starts with someone who is strong, dedicated, and isn’t afraid of getting up after being pushed down. 

Who is this someone, you may ask? 

Well to me, this someone could be you. 

Make a change.

Reader Comments

Posted: Sunday, April 13, 2014
Article comment by: Don Myers

Lisa "Dear" Those same influences regarding education, hours worked, and time off for child rearing influences the pay gaps in the private and public sector as well... You and I both know this war on women is once again Mr. Obama's phony and desperate effort to hide his record and change the narrative before the midterm elections.

I am truly amazed that liberals always think (or try to imply) they possess the high moral ground... So I guess I better remind all of my conservative female friends and my wife how miserable their lives obviously are... so they can wipe those happy smiles off their face. And then I'll remind my liberal female friends once again that the problems in their lives can be blamed on evil conservative folks like me.

For Heavens sakes Lisa where would liberals be without their tired old strategy of blame, vilify, divide and conquer.

As I said before I don't think there should be pay discrepancies between men, women or ethnic groups and it may shock you Lisa but I don't know anyone personally who does...it's a joke to suggest republicans are any different then democrats...once again Carney pointed out a double standard for the administration and private sector when breaking down the root causes and massaging the numbers used to market this partisan slop to the American masses!.

Same old, same old same, same, old dear but what should we expect from the party who's very existence depends on embracing an illusion of moral superiority?.

Posted: Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Article comment by: Lisa MaKarrall

Don honey, what did the Republicans vote down again for the third time today? That would be the Paycheck Fairness Act.
As far as Jay Carney, if you listened to his entire statement instead of parts of it taken out of context, he said it's basically complicated. Government jobs have pay grades but there are also seniority and opportunity issues involved. Very different than the private sector.
And as far as I know, he doesn't work at Fox News. He's not pretty, blond, empty headed or crazy enough, so don't think he has a chance of ever getting a job there. Still a fan of Shepard Smith, so he's not included in that statement.
But we do agree that Shantel did a very good job on her report and it's wonderful to see young people taking an interest in the issues. I hope to see a report soon on the new Wisconsin voter suppression laws. Just like women, minorities have their work cut out for them re-fighting the battles they thought were settled long ago.

Posted: Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Article comment by: don myers

Oh Lisa... you never change do you...first of all the "Fox Fact was confirmed by Jay Carny during a news conference... and the double standard was reported by sauch conservative stalwarts as CBS and others. Please refresh my memory does Carney work for Fox News?

As for my referring to Shantel as "Dear"... I come from a time where terms of endearment could be used sincerely and did not have to be approved as politically correct by angry Feminists such as yourself.... Finally I think it's great to have these thoughtful young people expressing themselves without having to see their comments filtered or influenced by political correctness regardless of their perspective. So I say again Good Job Shantel!
Keep writing!

Posted: Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Article comment by: Lisa MaKarrall

A very good report to mark Equal Pay Day, April 8th. This is the day when women's earnings finally catch up to men's earnings from the previous year.
Although I'm very happy to see a young woman taking action on this subject, I'm sorry to see that women's issues that women your mother, grandmothers, and great grandmothers age fought for, that we thought had been settled, are now having to be re-fought. In 2012 Scott Walker and the Republicans repealed the Equal Pay for Women Law in Wisconsin. We now rank 25th out of 50 states for pay equality.
They have also closed Planned Parenthood locations that didn't even provide abortions, but instead provided lifesaving cancer screenings and birth control for low income women. They won't be satisfied until all of them are gone. Laws passed that are currently held up in court, are trying to force Wisconsin women to undergo trans-vaginal ultrasounds even in the case of rape or incest. Funding for Well Woman services which has provided 500,000 breast and cervical cancer screenings to more than 70,000 women (kind of like Planned Parenthood did) has also been virtually eliminated.
Additionally, Scott Walker and the Republicans won't even look at raising the minimum wage when 62% of employees filling those jobs are women.
As far as Don Myers claiming that President Obama pays his female staff less than his male staff, that's what's called a "Fox Fact." In reality, the first bill President Obama signed into law after entering office was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Only 8 out of 219 Republicans voted for the law at the national level.
And Don, if Shantel had been a male student writing on this subject, would you call him Dear?

Posted: Monday, April 7, 2014
Article comment by: don myers

Good Job Shantel...it's great to see our young people participate in discussions regarding the issues of the day.

I believe most fair minded people do support equal pay for women...a good place to start is with your President who's White House
where women are paid 12% less than their male counterparts...send him a letter Dear he needs to be reminded once again that he too.... is subject to the laws that exist or should exist in America..

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