Women Inequalities

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Kelvin Sims
Prof Barton
Soc 121
11-28-12

Gender Inequality

The U.S. Constitution underlies the two important principles of freedom and equality among all the citizens of our nation. There is no question that it took decades of fighting, court hearings, and social movements for this country to achieve the level of freedom and equality in which we have today. However, there is still major gender inequality that is occurring in our very own nation. It sounds crazy that gender inequality occurs in America this day in age, it often gets overlooked and ignored even though we have women activist groups and clear statistics to prove, that the inequality of women is still a major issue in this country.

The question at hand is why and how come gender inequality is still evident in America today. There are many theories out there that try to explain the reason why inequality is still happening. The two most arguable theories on this subject are functionalist theories and feminist theories. The one this essay will focus on is the functionalist theory and how it relates to the inequality of women. By definition the, “functionalist approach sees society as a system of interlinked parts that, when in balance, operate smoothly to produce social solidarity” (PowerPoint 10). This approach relates more to this day in age when you deal with women in America, the workforce, and the government. Inequality of women is portrayed in all three of those aspects and it should be the goal of not only women but men too to help balance the equality of women in this nation.

Although men are making stronger efforts, it still remains the women who hold most of the child care responsibilities. A mind boggling statistic that in 1960 women performed 32 hours of housework a week compared to only 4 hours a week by men. Now in the last 40 years the gap has dropped and in the 2000’s women outworked the men 19 to 10 (PowerPoint 10), which is much better from the past but still hints at inequality. A functionalist might use this as an example when clarifying that women take on more sensitive roles, and housework and children play a major factor into it. Children especially, since women seem to be enrolled more emotionally they like to provide a sense of care and security, which would make them better “house workers” then men. However, this doesn’t suggest that women should be the ones to be the ‘house-sitters’ while men hold more high-status responsibilities. A common cop out is for people to bring up the fact that since women are more expressive in role and character that they fit better watching the kids at home or doing housework, even so by placing them into lower echelon jobs.

When it comes to women in the workforce there is no question that a gap exists between male workers and female workers. The facts show that gaps exist between wages, roles, jobs, and industries. If you were to compare the wages of full time working men to full time working women you would notice women make considerably a lot less than men. In a median weekly wage, women only earn about 81% of the median weekly wage of males, reports Trust Woman website. That’s basically 20% less than men, inequality is obvious. If we look at managerial roles, although the misconception is that women are making progress in achieving managerial roles, the percentage of female managers has only increased 3% over the past twenty years sitting unfortunately at only 38% (Trust). Some people might believe that 38% is not as bad as it seems, not when you consider women make up a majority of the U.S. population and as of 2010 half of the workforce. The problem isn’t getting women into the workforce, because they are already there, the inequality is the fact that they hold jobs that are lower paid, lower ranked, and low respected. Coming across woman CEO’s and presidents are easier to come by now more than ever but they still lack in numbers. As of 2011 only twelve women...
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