Gender inequality is still a severe problem in the modern world. It seems that women have achieved huge success in fighting for their own rights; still, there are various factors indicating that inequality still exists, though it is not as noticeable as before. One of the most noticeable issues related to gender inequality is the wage gap, as well as the so-called glass-ceiling effect. Women still earn significantly less compared to men and get lower positions in the organizational hierarchy. As a result, it contributes to numerous negative side effects, including poverty, poor economic growth, domestic violence, and various threats posed to women. Hence, there is only one way to get rid of all these negative effects, and this way is to close the gender wage gap.
Before discussing everything in detail, it is necessary to provide brief information on the extent of the problem. Before the 1980s, women earned approximately 60% of what men did (Blau & Kahn, 2017). By 2014, this ratio increased to about 80%; however, it is still not enough, and it shows that there are biases and prejudices toward women in modern society. It should also be noted that such numbers are typical for developed countries; however, in developing countries, women often have twice as lower wages compared to men. In some countries cases, women have to work almost free. Hence, in developing countries, women are highly vulnerable to domestic violence and health-related problems. Obviously, lower wages are associated with higher mortality. When people are unable to protect themselves or are unable to afford good health care, they have higher chances of dying younger. According to the study by Aizer (2010), “decreases in the wage gap reduce violence against women.” This can be explained by the fact that women who earn more spend less time with their violent partners because they work longer. Additionally, it is easier for them to find better partners, and at the same time, women who earn good wages feel independent, self-efficient, and protected. Hence, the more women earn, the lower are chances that they will be affected by domestic violence. Additionally, women having lower wages spend less money on their children, which makes children receive worse education, poor-quality food, and poor-quality healthcare (Klasen & Lamanna, 2009). There are many families where a woman is the only parent and has to take care of the child without the father’s help. In the U.S., there are 26% of single-parent families, and women are more likely to be this single parents (Lohmann et al., 2017). That is why it is quite difficult for women in single-parent families to take care of their children. Because of low wages, children raised in single-parent families are not able to acquire the skills needed for high-paid jobs, which negatively affects the economy.
Some people may argue that the gender wage gap is not a serious problem and that it won’t solve the problem of poverty; however, there are several strong arguments showing that the effects on the economy would be highly positive and that poverty rates would drop significantly. First of all, in the modern world, women are often unable to earn more than men because of bias. That is why a female employee who has better skills and more knowledge has lower chances of acquiring a higher position in the organizational hierarchy compared to a male who has lower professional skills. As a result, it contributes to lower organizational performance because women become unmotivated to work as hard as they can, because there is a glass ceiling that can’t be broken, and because males who acquire higher positions in many cases have lower performance compared to women who didn’t get a promotion just because of stereotypes and bias. It is needed to judge people not by their gender but by their professional skills, experience, and knowledge. The more people there are at the right places, the better the organization works, and the faster the economic growth is. This, in turn, will create more income for the organization and more taxes for the government.
As was already mentioned, women who don’t earn much have higher chances of dying younger, either because of domestic violence or health-related problems (Aizer, 2010). Each person is a taxpayer for the government, and the government should take care of all taxpayers because they are a major source of income for the government, and taxpayers’ money can be used to fight inequality and poverty. Thus, by preventing the deaths of taxpayers, the government and society as a whole will have huge benefits. Closing the gender wage gap will significantly reduce deaths among women and will increase the federal budget.
It is also needed to note that women have different money spending patterns compared to men. They are more likely to spend money on household goods and on the family because of their roles within the family (Thompson, 2011). Moreover, women are more responsible for repaying loans and buying products that will be highly useful in the household. By investing more money in children, women provide them with a better quality of living as well as better education. Children with a good education will have more opportunities in life and won’t live in poverty, which will reduce poverty rates in the future. The report by Milli et al. (2017) states that by providing women with equal pay, it would be possible to reduce the poverty rate for all working women from 8% to 3.8%, and for single mothers, the poverty rates would fall from 28.9% to 14.5%. The number of children living in poverty would drop from 5.6 to 3.1 million. Additionally, the authors of the report mention that the wage gap makes women not motivated to work, which reduces their working efficiency. They don’t see any purpose in working harder because they know that their hard work won’t be rewarded. The economy of the U.S. would have produced an additional income of $512.6 billion (Milli et al., 2017). This is about 2.8% of the total 2016 GDP.
All these facts provided above show that the gender wage gap should be eradicated. It is unacceptable in the modern world when women earn less compared to men. Nowadays, politicians state that all people are equal and deserve equal opportunities; however, in reality, there are still many problems related to equality. Society and employers should understand that working women make a huge contribution to social and economic development. They invest huge resources and money in their communities and families, which in turn results in lower poverty rates. Therefore, the sooner this problem is solved, the better it will be for everyone.
Aizer, Anna. “The gender wage gap and domestic violence.” American Economic Review 100.4 (2010): 1847-59.
Blau, Francine D., and Lawrence M. Kahn. “The gender wage gap: Extent, trends, and explanations.” Journal of Economic Literature 55.3 (2017): 789-865.
Klasen, Stephan, and Francesca Lamanna. “The impact of gender inequality in education and employment on economic growth: new evidence for a panel of countries.” Feminist economics 15.3 (2009): 91-132.
Lohmann, Henning, R. Nieuwenhuis, and I. Marx Edward Elgar. “Single-Parent Families and In-Work Poverty.” (2017).
Milli, Jessica, et al. “The Impact of Equal Pay on Poverty and the Economy.” Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 5 Apr. 2017, iwpr.org/publications/impact-equal-pay-poverty-economy/. Accessed 12 Nov. 2018.
Thompson, Derek. “Women Are More Responsible With Money, Studies Show.” The Atlantic, 2011, www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2011/01/women-are-more-responsible-with-money-studies-show/70539/. Accessed 12 Nov. 2018.