Articlefor a Progressive Problem
Articlefor a Progressive Problem
Gender-basedinequality is a social issue that has been addressed progressively,but it has not been eliminated completely. The issue is more commonin the labor market, where it is more difficult for women to findemployment compared to their counterpart male candidates(International Labor Organization, 2017). A few women who aresuccessful in finding jobs get less payment for the same jobpositions as men. For example, a study has shown that women were paid62 % of the wages that were awarded to men for the same amount ofwork in 1979 (ILO, 2017). The fact that this problem has beenaddressed progressively is confirmed by the fact that the amount ofwages paid to women had increased to 81 % of the wages awarded to menby the year 2010 (ILO, 2017). This paper will provide a discussion onthe issue of gender-based inequality and possible solutions.
Causesof Gender-Based Inequality
Theoccurrence of gender-base inequality can be attributed to manyfactors, but two of them are the most important ones. The first causeis inequality in the education sector. Over the years, women havebeen underrepresented in the education sector. According to DiPrete &Buchmann (2014) only 14 % of women between the age of 26 and 28 yearscompleted college education compared to 20 % of them in the same agegroup in 1970s. By 2010, 60 % of master’s degrees were earned bywomen, while only 25 % of them were able to pursue engineeringdegrees (DiPrete & Buchmann, 2014). Failure on the part of womento pursue degree programs leading to professions that pay better hasintensified the gender-based wage gap.
Thesecond cause of inequality in the labor market is the traditionalgender roles. Women and feminist groups have been fighting to achieveequality and overcome a perception that the place of women is the inthe kitchen. However, there are still many of those who arehousewives, which have denied them the opportunity to take part inthe productive employment. According to a research conducted by Cohn,Livingston & Wang (2014) the number of housewives andstay-at-home mothers increased from 26 % to 29 % between 2008 and2010. The same study indicated that about 64 % of these women stay athome with the sole objective of taking care of their children andhusbands. They are excluded from the formal labor market.
Solutionsto the Issue of Gender-Based Inequality
Theissue of inequality can be resolved successfully by addressing themain causes of challenge. Therefore, the first and the most effectivesolution is an increase in access to quality education for people ofboth genders. The current decline in disparity in the labor markethas been attributed to a seven percent increase in the number ofwomen who were able to accomplish college education between 1970s and2010 (DiPrete & Buchmann, 2014). This trend indicates that theapplication of efforts needed to reduce inequality in the educationcan go a long way in enhancing equality in the labor force. This isbecause education will prepare both men and women for job vacanciesthat are available in the labor market.
Secondly,career guidance can lead to an increase in the number of women whopursue degree programs that lead them to better paying jobs. Peoplewith opposing viewpoints argue that the number of women with collegeeducation has increased to 36 % compared to 27 % of men with the samelevel of academic achievement (DiPrete & Buchmann, 2014). The useof this data would lead to an argument that education is not asolution since it has failed to address inequality in the labormarket. However, the current disparity in wages that are earned bymen and women is attributed to the fact that women who pursue highereducation do not go for technical courses, such as engineering(DiPrete & Buchmann, 2014). By addressing the perception thatthese courses are difficult and reserved for men, it will be possibleto minimize the wage gap in the formal labor market.
Third,employers should be encouraged to create an environment thatfacilitates work-life balance and flexibility. This is a reliablesolution that will allow women to join the labor force and have timeto take care of their families (Cohn, Livingston & Wang, 2014).It will also give housewives an opportunity to pursue productivecareers.
Gender-basedinequality is a challenge that has been in existence in the entirehistory of the formal labor market. The problem is mainly caused bythe disparity in the education sector, traditional gender roles, andfailure on the part of women to take degree programs that can lead tojobs that pay better. Therefore, the issue can be resolvedsuccessfully through proper career guidance, reduction in thedisparity in the education sector, and the creation of jobenvironments that facilitate work-life balance.
Cohn,D., Livingston, G. & Wang, W. (2014). After decades of decline, arise in stay-at-home mothers. PewResearch Center.Retrieved March 30, 2017,fromhttp://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/04/08/after-decades-of-decline-a-rise-in-stay-at-home-mothers/
DiPrete,A. & Buchmann, C. (2014). The growing gender gap in education andwhat it means for American schools. Councilon Contemporary Families.Retrieved March 30, 2017, fromhttps://thesocietypages.org/ccf/2014/09/22/the-growing-gender-gap/
InternationalLabor Organization (2017). Gender inequality and women in the U.S.labor force. ILO.Retrieved March 30, 2017, fromhttp://www.ilo.org/washington/areas/gender-equality-in-the-workplace/WCMS_159496/lang–en/index.htm