Gender, Education, and Wages

I was talking to my friend the other day about her plans after graduation. She told me that she intends to return home to Venezuela. She asked me if I thought it would be hard to get a job. We discussed a few things like the economy and the level of education a person has. She went on to say, “Especially since we are women.” I was shocked. Not that it is true, but that it had not even occurred to me. I read articles about the status of women in other countries, but neglect to research the same issues within the United States. I came home and started looking for more information.

I came across a brief article, Women Hogging Diplomas (http://economix.blogs. nytimes.com/2009/06/04/women-hogging-diplomas/?scp=1&sq=gender%20inequality&st=cse), concerning the increasing number of women pursuing degrees in comparison to the number of men. Now don’t get me wrong, I think it is wonderful that women are getting an education and pursuing higher degrees. I do not, however, think it is ok for women to pursue these degrees because it is the only way they can compete with their male counterparts. The article, written by a woman, implies that by “hogging” diplomas, women are selfishly taking more than their share. Women deserve as many degrees as men. If they chose to, men could have just as many degrees as women. Perhaps the reason that they don’t pursue higher levels of education is because they don’t need to. If men are able to obtain the same job at a higher salary than a woman without all of the education, why do it? Why do women have to go to through more schooling to attain the same career opportunities as men?

My research brought me to another article, Washington’s Working Women: Not Equal Yet(http://www.eoionline.org/state_economy/reports/WA_Working_Women-Mar09.pdf). While this is just one state, it still says something about the situation of American women. The most recent data (for 2007) showed that on average, men earned $4, 596.75 per month, while women only earned $2, 924.00. Further data shows that from the ages of 19-65, men consistently earn higher monthly earnings than women.

This is the United States. This country has declared that all men are created equal. It is time that we live up to that. Women should have the same wages and job opportunities as men.

—by KA

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