Celebrating Women’s Equality Day: 4 Women Pioneers in Gender Equality
Sojourner Truth: Advocate for Gender and Racial Equality
Ida B. Wells: Founding Member of the NAACP
Gloria Steinem: Social Activist and Champion of Women’s Rights
Margaret Chase Smith: First Woman Elected to Both Houses of Congress
Modern Issues in the Women’s Equality Movement
- Gender Pay Gap: Women are still paid less than men. According to PayScale’s 2020 Gender Pay Gap Report, women earn 81 cents for every dollar men earn, meaning the median salary for men is approximately 19% higher than the median salary for women.
- #MeToo Movement: The ‘me too’ Movement was founded in 2006 as a way to help survivors of sexual violence. It gained widespread notoriety when a flood of sexual abuse allegations began to emerge against film producer Harvey Weinstein. On October 15, 2017, actor Alyssa Milano tweeted a message asking her followers to reply “me too” if they’d ever been sexually assaulted or harassed. Women used the hashtag more than half a million times in 24 hours, proving that sexual harassment and abuse remain prevalent.
- Maternal and Infant Mortality Rates: The Center for American Progress reports that Black women in the U.S. experience much higher rates of maternal and infant mortality than the overall population. Potential causes for the high maternal and infant death rates among this demographic may include socioeconomic factors such as poverty and restricted access to healthcare resources, as well as institutional racism.
- Intersectionality in the Workplace: Sexism, racism, and religious discrimination often overlap, and The New York Times reports that intersectionality within the workplace still exists. Intersectionality is about more than experiencing sexism one day and racism the next. It creates a highly charged environment in which employees feel as if they always need to have their guard up.
- Voter Representation Among Races: Despite the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, the percentage of people of color who vote is still lower than for whites. According to the American Bar Association’s Human Rights magazine, potential reasons for the lower voter turnout among people of color include voter ID laws and polling location disparities, as well as language barriers. However, women currently vote at higher rates than men overall, and experts predict that Black women voters will play an important role in the 2020 presidential election.