How come women don’t have the same rights as men?

Gracie L

    Gender equality is one of the top issues not just in our nation, but all over the world. Why do men have supremacy over us? It’s not fair to be given different rights just because of your gender. In what ways are women being deprioritized and how can we fix it?  “At the rate we’re going, it will take 208 years to achieve gender equality in the U.S., but we have the power to change that. If we act now, we can see equality in our lifetimes.”

    It’s no doubt that women have come a long way since the 19th Amendment which granted us the right to vote. However, there is still so much we need to overcome. Sadly, 1 and 5 women and girls between the ages of 15-49 have experienced physical or sexual violence within a 12 month period. Currently, 49 out of our 50 states have no laws protecting women from domestic violence. 

The workplace is yet another place where women are not seen as equal. Women make up less than 25% of congress. Don’t even get me started on an average women’s paycheck. Globally, women earn 24% less than men do. Why should we get less money for performing the same tasks? That’s right, we shouldn’t! Although there are many things that can be improved, let’s take a look at some things that women all over the world have achieved and what we will proceed to do moving forward.

    Despite the many unequal rights placed against women, we continue to move forward. We live in a time that despite the laws made against us, women continue to rise up. Around the whole world, women are gaining unbelievable power. Holding seats in the lower house of Rwanda’s legislature, Saudi Arabia finally allowing women the right to drive, almost ⅔ of the Spanish government’s cabinet ministers being made up of women, coming together to protest, and many more countless achievements are being made daily. Women are the future. Another major step for women would be for a woman president to take office. Maybe that would help us gain equal rights. However, you don’t have to be famous to make a difference.

    YOU can be the change. There are many little things you can do that will make a big difference. For example, protesting and participating in events such as the Women’s March can help raise awareness for this global issue. Other little things you can do daily include being confident in yourself, believing that change can happen, and encouraging others to take action. To all the young girls out there, strut your success in life and don’t ever let anyone make you feel inferior!

    When needing to think of someone to interview, I immediately thought of my mom. My mom is a very successful woman who has raised my sister and I, and she served in the Air Force for 20 years! She is definitely not just a stay at home mom like some people might portray women to be (not that there’s anything wrong with stay at home parents). “I believe America has come a long way in regards to women’s rights. We have made great strides regarding equality, education, voting, job opportunities, and power. However, I believe we still have obstacles that prevent the overall equality. For example, although we have more women in leadership positions than in the past, we still lack women in positions of power. Specifically, we lack powerful positions in politics. Regardless of a woman’s experience, education, or abilities, the perception fosters that we are less qualified competent than men. Women who raise a family really have two full-time jobs while trying to compete with men who have one. Again, I believe we’ve come a long way and hope we can continue to move forward in the right direction.” When asking how much less she got paid compared to a man, she responded with, “Working in the United States Air Force for 20 years alongside fellow Airmen (men and women), our pay was equal. Salary was/is based on rank and time in service. The only exception is special duty positions that allow for special duty pay. But, both men and women have those opportunities. As a retiree working as a Government contractor now, I believe my pay is slightly lower than fellow men on my team. That simply may be because they negotiated better.” How can others help resolve this issue? “I think local adults and kids should continue to speak out and fight for equality for everyone. Remembering and teaching our history and how bad discrimination was should not be forgotten or ignored. One voice is awesome, but several voices together can make a huge impact.”

    Another person I decided to interview was my sister, Mikayla. She is a very successful college student who will later go on to become an officer in the Air Force. “Throughout history it’s clearly portrayed how women are inferior to men. Gatherers rather a hunter, royalty exclusions, the cult of domesticity in the mid-1800s subjecting women to feminine spheres, propaganda in the late 1800s and throughout the 1900s fluctuated between showcasing women in the workforce to go back to the home as their rightful, god destined right. It’s unfortunate and has allowed women to be taken advantage of for years. However, it has steadily gotten better. Only recently have women been allowed to work, vote, and go to school, but this is not the case across the world. There are still extreme disparities between the genders, especially minority women and undeveloped nations across the world.” How much less did you make a year compared to a man that did the same job? “I’ve worked in part-time retail jobs in which a majority, if not all employees were female. One job in particular, a clothing brand, it was encouraged that men apply more than a women and if a man did apply, they were more likely to get either a faster promotion, be immediately promoted to a higher position, or be paid  $0.25 to $.50 per hour higher than a woman even if that woman had slightly more experience in that industry or even the company. It was appalling. To be able to work is a privilege, but to be discriminated against due to my gender and age as an employee was degrading and frustrating.” When asking her what others can do to help this issue, she replied with, “The culture is evolving. It is important to continue to advocate for not only female rights but the rights of all people. Equality should be a right. We are all humans after all and should be given the same basic rights. Adults can be informed citizens and vote to change policies inducing a catalyst for change. However, politics is not the only option. Cultivating an accepting culture through at home with discussions of equality and bringing up children equally, teachings in class and influencing minds at an early stage that boys and girls of all walks of life are equal is what should be encouraged.”

    In conclusion, everyone no matter race, gender, sexuality, or religion, have the right to be treated equally. Feminine rights are not the only rights we have to fight for. Today there are still multiple “groups” of people who are discriminated against. Although women have come such a long way, we still have endless things to strive for. After all, feminine rights are human rights. Always remember that YOU can be the change in our world.