March 8th was International Women’s Day and women all over the world celebrated not only advances women have made over the years but also the struggles and inequalities that women still face today despite limited progress. Women have been able to make great strides in the world thanks to the activism of various women and laws that make women’s rights possible. For example, in the United States, almost 60% of women make up the student body in colleges and are now more likely to receive masters and doctoral degrees.
But, while women trail blaze in the areas of academia, there are many other areas that women have not seen equal opportunity. In the work sector, an American woman’s wage makes up only 81% of that of a man’s wage. It gets worse, because if the statistics are broken down further and by race, an African American woman makes only 67% of a man’s wage and a Latina woman only makes 59.8%. Also, the percentage of women who are managers has only risen a measly three percent in the last couple of years. Last year there were only 12 women on the Forbes 500 richest people list and when it comes to the United States government, only 17 women hold seats in the Senate and only 92 women hold seats in the House of Representatives (which is comprised of 435 members).
This major disparities show evidence that women are severely underrepresented and disenfranchised. What needs to change is the attitude and stigma that surrounds women in the work force or in any other sector of society. This prohibits women from progressing in various aspects of society. Once attitudes change then these inequalities are more likely to be addressed and closed.