Throughout the world’s history, there have been many issues that affect our lives everyday and the way our society runs. There are issues in which our country was influenced, the way in which the government runs, and our lives. One of these main issues has been women’s rights. Women got their rights later than men and have always been treated lesser than others. Even since the beginning of time, the Bible says, “Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. ” (Genesis 3:16) This gave people the idea that men were supposed to rule over women. Americans have been striving for gender equality for many years because of the major problem it causes in society, but when solved, it can help better the economy and give everyone their equal deserving rights.
The women’s rights movement began around 1848 at the Seneca Falls Convention, where close to 300 women gathered to discuss women’s social, political, and religious rights. All male citizens were given the right to vote in 1870 with the 15th amendment, but still excluded women from being able to participate in voting. The 19th amendment was first presented to the Congress in 1878, but it took more than 40 years to ratify. In 1920, more than 8 million American women legally voted for the first time. Now, women have had the right to vote for nearly a century, but there is still much more to do in the fight for equality. In 2017, women banded together to start the #MeToo movement highlighting the ridiculous amount of sexual harassment that women are still faced with today. Females of every age continue to suffer discrimination and violence in every part of the world. Gender equality is not only a basic human right, but a means for creating a peaceful society that allows us to grow and prosper. Unfortunately, 1 in every 5 females between the ages of 15 and 49 speak up about experiencing physical or sexual violence by their partner within a one year period, and this does not even include the women who decided not report their abuse. Yet, 49 countries are still doing absolutely nothing to stop the terrible ways women are being treated. They have no laws protecting women from domestic violence.
There is progress currently regarding child marriage and Female genital mutilation, which has declined by 30% in the past decade, but there is still much work to be done to completely eliminate such practices. Providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, equal pay, and better representation in political and economic decision-making processes will better the economy and benefit societies and humanity. Implementing new legal frameworks regarding female equality in the workplace and the obliteration of harmful acts targeted at women is crucial to ending the gender-based discrimination prevalent in countries all around the world. In today’s society, women enter the workforce at the same rate men do, more women graduate college than men, and close to half of working women are even the main jobholders of the family. Yet, women are still not getting paid as much as men and there is a huge gender wage gap, companies are not required to give maternity leave, and the Congress is only 20% women. In the office, women continue to make considerably less money on average than men for doing the exact same job. Since earning the right to vote, women and female supporters have continued the fight for equality in many different ways. In 2018, and in many years before, women are working to make change by showing their disapproval through protests, marches, and supporting organizations that are based around women. Many people will also participate on social media, using hashtag #ToastToTenacity to honor the past, so we can shape our future accordingly. There is also an increased focus on inclusion in Women’s Equality Day celebrations. In past years, much of the women’s movement were not focused on disabled, transgender, black women etc. they focused on the “typical” type of woman. This year, more women of all types will join in the march and fight for women’s equality. Many say that equality is a women’s issue, when in fact, it is a social and economic problem that needs to be addressed. All fathers in Sweden are required to take at least two months off of work before their child is eight years old to receive the benefits the government offers. In doing this, it benefits mothers with a 7% rise in income each month of paternity leave taken, according to the Institute For Labour Market Party Evaluation. This mandatory parental leave policy may help close the wage gap.
The benefits to full gender equality for a woman means equal pay for equal work, paid parental leave policies, and more caregiving responsibilities for not only men, but also women. If gender equality is ever achieved, not only will women benefit, but so will men, businesses and the economy. According to the University of Virginia study, equal representation in the government could help more legislation get ratified. Women that are in the minority part of the house are 33% more efficient in getting bills passed than most people, yet the men are still on top. Paying women fairly would help the economy grow in so many ways. In fact, a study by McKinsey Global Institute says that GDP will increase by $28 trillion if we achieve full gender equality by the year 2025; 38 percent of this extra GDP would come from more female involvement in the workforce. Equality is also good for businesses. Catalyst research reveals that companies with the highest representation of women on their senior teams get 34% more profits than the companies that have low female representation. Research also shows that people feel safer speaking up in a less intimidating atmosphere such as diverse teams and tend to be more creative. Shifting all-male or all-female teams to one with an equal amount of both men and women could increase all revenue by 41%, according to MIT. Since Donald Trump has been elected president, he has nominated Brett Kavanaugh to join the Supreme Court, which could threaten Roe v. Wade, the case on abortion rights. This would strip women of their rights to freely get abortions; which should be a decision between a woman and her doctor.
Trump is banning abortion after a heartbeat is detected, at only six weeks. This is earlier than the majority of women even know that they are pregnant. Therefore, many women will not be able to make a decision on whether to abort or not because the decision will have already been made. Many people decide not to get abortions and their children grow up to be something great, but that is no reason to take a woman’s right away from making the decision for herself. Equality will happen only when we make the decision to let it happen. It is not a female issue nor a male issue, it is a management issue. Talking about the problem will not help the situation in which we need it to, but changing our mindset and equality in our hearts, and taking accountability for the change that needs to happen in the world. The only way the wage gap will close is if we choose close it. The only way women will get the choice of abortion, is if we choose to let women make their own decisions. And the only way women are going to change the world, is if you let them.