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5 Ways Gender Inequality Persists in the United States

By HERWriter
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Gender Inequality Still Going Strong in the United States Auremar/PhotoSpin

In terms of educational achievement, American women in the United States have actually surpassed men. But despite women’s ability, ambition and education, gender inequality persists across the spectrum of public and private life in the United States.

1) The United States has never elected a woman president. Or vice president.

For the past several years, the status quo around the world has been 20 female world leaders at any given time. The U.S. is currently at a record high of 22. We are decades behind the rest of the world.

Indira Gandhi was elected prime minister of India in 1966, and Golda Meir became prime minister of Israel in 1969. Margaret Thatcher was elected prime minister of Britain in 1979.

2) We are underrepresented in Congress.

Currently, out of 535 members of Congress, 99 are women. That’s only 18.5 percent of Congress.

We rank 98th in the world as far as female representation in government.

Steven Hill, writing for The Nation, stated, “At the current rate of progress, it will take nearly 500 years for women to reach fair representation in government.”

3) We have fewer seats on the boards of major corporations.

American women have only 19 percent of the seats on the boards of major corporations, coming in tenth behind several European countries and Canada, according to a study by Catalyst, reported the New York Times.

Among the 500 biggest companies in the United States, 3 percent of them have zero female board members, wrote Claire Cain Miller in The Upshot.

4) Women earn less.

Women earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn for equal work. That pay gap increases for women of color. African-American women earn 64 cents, and Latina women earn 56 cents for every dollar earned by a Caucasian man doing the same job.

The United States has a larger gender pay gap than 22 other developed countries, reports CNN Money.

5) Guess who’s doing most of the chores?

While men participate significantly more in household upkeep and child care than 25 years ago, women still carry a heavier burden at home. Olga Khazan, reporting in the Atlantic, found that women spend 51 minutes more per day on household chores than their husbands, fiancés, boyfriends and male roommates.

6) Love your body, but know that fat women are paid less.

Obese women earn $8,666 dollars less than their slim counterparts, according to Forbes. Men also face weight discrimination, but are penalized less.

7) Blondes have more fun, because they have more disposable income,

A 2010 study of 13,000 Caucasion women reported in Forbes found that blondes earn greater than 7 percent more than female employees with any other hair color. The study framed the results as “a pay bump equivalent to the boost an employee would generally see from one entire year of additional education.”

That box of drugstore hair color may be worth the investment.


FACT SHEET: Fighting for Equal Pay and the Paycheck Fairness Act. Whitehouse.gov. Retrieved August 12, 2015.
and https://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/equal-pay

Gender Inequality and Women in the Workplace. Harvard.edu. Retrieved August 12, 2015.

Women on Boards: Where the U.S. Ranks. New York Times.com. Retrieved June 12, 2015.

You Are Judged by Your Appearance. Forbes.com. Retrieved August 12, 2015.

U.S. lagging behind on gender equality. Money.cnn.com. Retrieved August 13, 2015.

Why Does the US Still Have So Few Women in Office? thenation.com. Retrieved August 13, 2015.

Women Spend Nearly an Hour More Per Day on Chores Than Men. The Atlantic.com. Retrieved August 13, 2015.

Reviewed August 14, 2015
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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