Mind the Gap

Gender oppression has been a lifelong issue, and with it come many complications. We’re all well aware that women suffer from a significant pay gap when compared to men, but just how big is that gap? 

The average woman in the United Kingdom makes 29,891 pounds a year on a full-time job; while men make over 10,000 pounds more. (Independent, 2018) What does this mean for women? It means that just in the UK 138 billion pounds are lost out due to a gender pay gap. Can you imagine the impact this causes? 138 billion pounds are forcefully stolen from women every year; all because of their gender, and in the US, women lose out on over $500 billion yearly, and only 5 of the highest-paying jobs are run by women. (AAUW, 2020) Painfully, this is only a small portion of the countless amounts of money, opportunities, and respect that women lose out on in workplaces; and it all needs to stop. 

Other than the basic idea that equality is a human right, there are many other benefits to equal pay, such as; economic equality and boost, reduced poverty and staff turnover, and lastly, dependability on female jobs. 

By balancing the pay gap we would successfully be able to boost our nations’ economies. With lower salaries women are more limited in the amount of money they can spend or invest in other things, however, if equal pay is introduced, more money would be spent or invested, resulting in an economic boost. 

Additionally, households and families have begun relying on the woman’s jobs as the dependable financial income in the household. This is caused by the fast-growing rates of unemployment among men. Every year the unemployment rate for men rises a bit more, making their financial income less dependable in the family. Overall this causes the one source of dependable income to be the woman’s; and with the significantly less amount of money she brings in, it becomes worrying for families. By balancing the pay gap families would be able to depend on the woman’s salaries.  (CAP, 2009)

The issue with the gap that many don’t realize is the number of long-term effects it has on women, their livelihoods, their children, and their mental health. The pay gap has proven to be the cause of significant poverty rates among women, and by balancing the economic gain of the two genders, we would be able to lower these from 8% to 3.8%. This would not only be incredibly beneficial to the women themselves, but to their children as well, and of the 5.6 million children suffering, we would be able to rescue 2.6 million from their financial drought. (MIC, 2018) 

In 2016 Columbia University ran a study on the impact the gender pay gap had on mental health. They found that women who were paid less than men in their workplace were 2.4 times more likely to be diagnosed with depression, and 4 times more likely to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. (CNBC, 2020) Parental depression is a huge issue as it has countless impacts on the household, and especially any children. The child can begin to be clouded by their mother’s view of the world, be less emotionally available, and have an increased chance of being diagnosed themselves. 

Even though we know all of this, and our societies, communities, and governments are aware of all the factors, impacts, and consequences this gap causes, at this rate we are only expected to fix the issue in 200 years. 200 years, is an unacceptable prediction; a prediction which will cause deaths, poverty, hunger, and underdevelopment. Our societies need to find solutions and implement them in order to make a change now. We must mind the gap.