Where Gender Equality is at in America
Over the last decade, America has pushed forward to tackle the issue of gender equality. The divide between men and women and how they approach the topic of gender equality is certainly at the heart of the issue, however, in 2020, America elected the first female vice president and this is a great sign moving forward. Even with this leap towards gender equality, there is still work to be completed to reach the goal of equality. Gender disparities can be found in many facets of American society that need addressing and solutions.
In 2020, the United Nations held its fourth world conference on women. At the conference, a new agenda to remove all systematic barriers in the public and private space was agreed upon. In 2021, the goal of the Generation Equality Forum, which is solely women-led, is to push into the future to take ambitious, transforming, and concrete actions that will lead to an irreversible push towards gender equality. With much of the world agreeing more needs to be done to help gender equality issues, and American leadership in agreement, where is America currently in the fight for equality?
Men and Women
In America, the divide on the issue begins with men and women and their approach to gender equality. In 2017, national polling was conducted, and the results indicated women believe more needs to be done to solve the gender pay gap at work and also in the home. In many cases, women must work a day job and also work a double shift once arriving home. Women in the U.S. only make 85% of what males make, according to the Pew Research Center.
Politics play a role as well, showing that Republicans are less likely to fight for equality than the left-leaning Democrat voter. Age also plays a role in how a person approaches equality. Young adults, up to the age of 36, lean towards solving gender equality more than the age group 37 and up. Overall, the national polling showed that over 50% of Americans believe gender equality has already been achieved in the United States. However, there are certain disparities between genders that still exist throughout the nation and these disparities will need to be addressed to reach true gender equality in America.
How States Rank in Gender Equality
The Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security published U.S. WPS Index rankings for American states and based the study on three main factors. Inclusion is a factor that is measured by women’s education, political representation, and employment. Justice is a second factor that is measured by the kind of legal protections women have when faced with discrimination. Healthcare access and also attitudes about gender discrimination fall under the justice umbrella. Security is the third factor which is measured by health care access, freedom from intimate partners violence, and also public space safety.
The study found that the highest-ranked states in gender equality reside in the northeast section of the country. On the other side of the spectrum, many southern states rank at the very bottom of the list. The lower rankings are given because of the lack of opportunities for females as well as having fewer rights. In the southern states, fewer gun laws, larger gender pay gaps, education, healthcare, and poverty are the leading reasons for making the bottom of the list. One thing is clear from the data and that is the fight for equality needs to have a more geographic approach. Improving women’s health, economic outcomes, and education are at the forefront of the battle towards gender equality.
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