Alana-Rose Davis: The legacy of the gender wage gap

bAs a child, I was told that I could do anything my brother did, and to never back down.

As I grew older I realized this is true. However, I also realized I would not receive the same pay for the same job as my brother. From opulent offices to sold-out soccer arenas, women still face wage discrimination.

According to the DailyCaller, five members of the U.S women’s national soccer team have filed an official complaint against U.S Soccer Federation, accusing them of not paying female soccer players the same as male soccer players. To make matters worse, the women’s soccer team is far more successful than the men’s soccer team. The women were the only U.S team to win the 2015 World Cup. However, women soccer players are paid 40 percent less than male soccer players. Read more about this here.

While women athletes are fighting for better pay, many people don’t realize the lifelong effects gender wage gaps have on females. Statistically, women outlive men. According to SSA.gov, “A man reaching age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 84.3. A woman turning age 65 today can expect to live, on average, until age 86.6.” According to thinkprogress.org:

…women end up living longer and spending more on their health care. If they both retire at age 65, the average man can expect to live another 19.3 years, but a woman will live for another 21.6. And in that time, a man will spend a projected $275,035 on health care while a woman will spend $294,975.

aThe disparity is clear but it seems no one is taking this issue seriously.

Ass an African-American female, I face another layer of discrimination when it comes to equal pay. Black women make just 64 percent of the salary a white man makes, while white women make 78 percent.

This can feel like a wound because I have come to the realization that no matter how hard I study or how much I put my best foot forward, I will always be third tier because of the color of my skin. As the American Association of University Women (AAUW) says:

Differences in education also don’t explain the full gap, because “many women of color tend to be paid less than their white peers even when they have the same educational background.

Some people say that the gap can be at least partly attributed to women choosing to work fewer hours. But New Republic says:

 Women also make the so-called choices they do, working fewer hours and staying in lower-paid jobs, because the United States lacks paid sick days and maternity leave. Additional policies helping caretakers would help women, too, but the U.S. has hardly considered, like universal pre-kindergarten education.

I honestly thought that people would be more understanding of how important a woman’s role in starting a family, and that she should be accommodated so she can work and raise future generations.

I guess people haven’t caught on to that idea yet. Although women have made many strides from being “seen and not heard” to being seen and heard, it’s still is a long journey until we can finally experience equality, both socially and financially.

Don’t miss out on Equal Pay day which is on April 12! This is a day where women’s earnings equal to men’s earning the previous year. Read more information on this here!

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