Six Women's Inequality Facts You Should Know

6:05:00 AM

Women's Equality Day is a special day. It reminds us of the long road that has been traveled by feminist activists and how much more work is needed to reach gender parity. Though women make up of 51% of the US population, they are highly underrepresented in significant forms of leadership and in almost every important aspect of society. The following outlines just some of the disparity women face and the necessary work for women to obtain equal rights, equal pay, equal access to political participation and healthcare.




1. DOMESTIC EQUAL RIGHTS
Women do not have equal rights under the U.S. Constitution. Despite the passing of the Equal Rights Amendment in Congress in 1972, it still needs two more states to ratify it before having the three-fourths majority needed to amend the Constitution. Back in March, Nevada finally ratified the amendment after thirty years of dormancy. Still, there are thirteen states that have not done so. These include the following: Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah, and Virginia.

2. GLOBAL EQUAL RIGHTS
The United States is the only leading nation and one of only seven countries which have not ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women treaty, widely known as CEDAW. The other nations that have not signed the CEDAW treaty are Tonga, Palua, Iran, Somalia, South Sudan and Sudan. On both domestic and global levels, this will confirm the US commitment to take concrete steps to improve the status of women and end discrimination and violence against women.


3. EQUAL PAY
Women earn just 76 cents for every dollar men make. The gap is worse for women of color. Native American women earn 60 cents, African American women earn 63 cents and Hispanic women earn 54 cents.

Currently, there is no nationwide law prohibiting gender-based pay discrepancies and banning workplace policies that penalize employees for sharing wage information.



4.  EQUAL ACCESS TO POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
Fifty-nine countries have elected female heads of state while the U.S. has failed to elect a female leader. Countries like Sri Lanka, India, China, Israel, Argentina, Pakistan and Rwanda have elected female heads of state.

The US once ranked 52nd in the world for women’s representation in government. Now it's 97th.

In Nordic countries like Finland and Sweden, women make up just over 40 percent of the legislature. And even the Canadian legislature is 26 percent female — compared with 19.4 percent in the US.

Today, fewer than one in five voting members of Congress are women, and fewer than one in 15 legislators are women of color.


5. EQUAL ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE
Although the U.S. has the most expensive health care system in the world, the nation ranks lowest in terms of “efficiency, equity, and outcomes, according to a Commonwealth Fund report. Not everyone has equal access to healthcare and healthcare providers are not the same across the board. One is impacted by gender, race, and income level just to name a few.

 The United Nations report that women lack the right to paid maternity leave, face obstacles towards reproductive health services, both because of legislative restrictions in many states and because of violent attacks on reproductive health clinic staff and patients.

6.  EQUAL RECOGNITION
Though in 2020, the first woman will grace a twenty-dollar bill, still today, there is no federal holiday honoring a woman's contribution. The petition to “Elevate August 26th, Women's Equality Day to a Federal Holiday" is an effort working towards that.


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Sources:
http://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=52797#.WaFhwCiGPIU
http://time.com/2888403/u-s-health-care-ranked-worst-in-the-developed-world/
https://www.vox.com/a/women-in-congress

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