Breaking news! The wage gap has gotten smaller… but only by 1 cent. Let me repeat 1 cent. That’s right folks, it’s been over 50 years since the Equal Pay Act was signed into law, and women still typically make 80 cents for every dollar men make. This is the reality in 2016. This is the reality the same year that women crushed it in sports and made massive strides in the political, medical and scientific fields. The wage gap is still closing at a nearly non-existent rate. In fact, at this rate I could be long gone by the time I can hope to earn the same pay as a man, and I’m only 21 years old! It’s time for a reality check: the wage gap isn’t closing fast enough.
To give you a visual representation of how painfully slow this is moving I have complied a list of all the things women have accomplished this year, still for less money than men.
- There is a woman running for president as a major party’s nominee, and women still only make 80 cents for every for every dollar a man makes.
- Serena Williams has crushed records, made history and been named the greatest athlete of all time ever by Nike, and we still can’t pay women equal pay for equal work?
- Carla Hayden was named the first ever black female Librarian of Congress and it’s still too difficult to grasp that women and men should earn the same amount?
- After overcoming adversity as a child, Simone Biles thrived at the Rio games and has become the most decorated American gymnast of all time ever (not to mention the whole female USA Gymnastics team also broke world records) and people still don’t see a problem with the gap between men and women’s earnings?
- Women scored a huge reproductive win in the Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt Supreme Court ruling, and queen/badass Ruth Bader Ginsburg threw down an opinion that was short and sweet, yet epic, but we are still facing a wage gap?!
Forgive me for being frank: BUT THIS IS MOVING WAY TOO SLOWLY! 2016 was a year of massive accomplishments by women – accomplishments that improve America as a whole – and yet the wage gap is closing at a snail’s pace. This is about more than paying women fairly (which should not even be a question); this is also about treating women as equals and giving them the recognition and compensation that they deserve. It’s 2016, people. It’s been 53 years since the passage of the Equal Pay Act. And women broke down major barriers this year, so why is it taking so long to break down the wage gap?