Gender equality remains an ongoing battle

by The Daily Vidette (Illinois State U.)

09/26/2003

(U-WIRE) NORMAL, Ill. – The fight for equality of women has been an ongoing issue in the United States for many years. While many obstacles have been overcome, there are still barriers women are forced to leap over.

The fight for equal pay is a major obstacle for women. An article in Thursday’s edition of the Daily Vidette showed ISU’s female professors are getting paid about $12,200 less than their male counterparts. And there is an average difference of $15,500 between the sexes from 12 Illinois public universities.

While the numbers are alarming, they are not too surprising. The process to becoming equal is a slow one, but women are constantly advancing.

ISU, or any other university, can help eliminate the disparity between men and women by encouraging women to seek out higher positions.

ISU should not establish a quota, but rather they may want to consider taking gender into consideration when hiring, similar to what is being done with affirmative action.

This idea can also be taken into account when accepting graduate students, which is often a gateway into teaching.

Many people have become complacent in the idea that lesser pay for women is just the way things are.

They don’t focus on how to forget the past and advance into the future.

The lesser pay for women is often accredited to maternity leave. However, these days a woman can often work just weeks before giving birth if there aren’t complications.

If a women chooses to take an extended leave it is sometimes because she feels pressure and guilt from society to be the household caretaker.

However, now a larger number of women are more determined to get a good education and to have a career, so it is harder for them to give that up. And in today’s increasingly liberal society, men are taking more responsibility in the raising of children.

Advancements will come from society beginning to realize the shift women are making. Salary is a good indicator of quality between men and women in the workplace.

A closer look at the difference men and women are making in the same position with the same educational background could be an even better indicator of where women stand.

Women are already making major strides and as long as activists keep improving and pushing for what they believe, major advancements will continue. A conscious effort to increase women employees is needed to take another step toward equality.