Equal Pay for Equal Work

Topics: Discrimination, Gender, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Pages: 5 (1993 words) Published: November 4, 2012
Equal Pay for Equal Work
For years, women have been fighting for equality in everything that they do. If one takes a close look at the issues surrounding the differences between men's and women's roles in the workforce, one will notice that women tend to be one step below on the “status” or “importance” ladder. In American society, the woman has always been viewed traditionally in the role she should play in the home; that she is the “homemaker” or “caretaker”. Even when women break from the stereotype of “housewife” and join the workforce, they still are not given an equal opportunity at acquiring a job that is seen to be as advancing or of garnering higher recognition. Women deserve the same pay for the same work performed by their equal male counterparts due to the fact that many women have become the sole providers of their families, and there nothing a man can do that a woman cannot do, their physical and mental abilities overlap, plus several other myths.

Men, in the 1940s, were the head of the house; their role was to take charge of everything, and they made all of the family's choices. Men were supposed to build lives for their families. Married women in the '40s were supposed to clean the home, bear children, and keep the house running efficiently. Late in 1941, these roles were disrupted; the United States entered into World War II, the men were sent away to the war, and the women had to fill the roles of the men in the workforce. Everywhere newspapers had advertisements for help wanted and jobs. Millions of American women took the responsibility to fill the newly-available positions (Rowland 71). This created a new image for women by the middle of the 1940s, with the support of the government the women were encouraged to fill the spots of the men who had gone over seas (Rowland 75). A survey was conducted by the Department of Labor after the end of World War II to determine if women would have liked to keep their jobs. The survey found that only 20 percent wished to leave their jobs; the other 80 percent would have preferred to stay in the workforce. At the start of the 1960s, 60 percent of all of those employed in the United States were men; a 20 percent drop compared to the 40s and 50s (Rowland 79). According to the U.S. News & World News Reports, “nearly two-thirds of all married women with children were working in the labor force by the start of the 1990s (qtd. in Rowland 158)”.

Women in today's society work just as hard as men, and have taken on the responsibility of being the sole provider. According to the Department of Labor, women were the primary caregivers in most families in 2005; also, 3.7million Americans held multiple jobs (USDL, “Employment Status of Women and Men in 2005” 1). In 2000, 28 percent of all of the households in America had a least one child under the age of 18 in the household; 7.6 million of those families had children under the age of 18 with a single woman as the primary caregiver (Hopkins 1). According to the 2000 United States Census, “More than 1 in 4 families with children under the age of 18 were headed by a single parent” and “more than 3 out of 4 single parent families were headed by a Mom” (Hopkins 2). It is not just young women who are raising children under the age of 18; in 2003, there were 2.4 million grandparents in the United States that were liable for their grandchildren and 63 percent of those grandparents were women (USDHS 1). Although the statistics show that there are more women that are the sole providers for many of their families than there are men; it is not shown properly in workforce statistics. Women have participated in the workforce for years and make up almost half of the workforce. In 2005, 60 percent over 16 years of age participated in the workforce and 46 percent of all women were employed. Between 1995 and 2005, 17 million jobs were created and women held 49 percent of all of the new jobs formed (USDL,“Employment Status of Women and Men...
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