Is sexism drawing to a close?
Women’s rights have come a long way since the suffragettes. But is the glass ceiling really made of concrete?
Women in the 21st century are equal to men. Or that’s what many of us think. There are so many issues of sexism that are glanced over or thought of as unimportant. Although women no longer have to campaign for votes, or for the right to buy a house or open a bank account without a man, women still struggle with gender inequality- in ways that the suffragettes would be ashamed of.
A perfect example of sexism being glanced over is the gender pay gap. While some people believe that the gap is close to being filled, I read a recent study that showed otherwise. In 2020, the average hourly pay for women was £23.65. For men, it was £25.30. While some may argue this is better than 10 years ago, I think this sends a message to society that women are valued less than men. We should not settle until there is no such thing as the gender pay gap. Women work the same jobs as men. Women work just as hard as men. So why can’t women be paid the same as men?
Not only is sexism an issue among adults, it also effects young women in education. Worldwide, 129 million girls are out of school. Obviously in impoverished countries like South Africa or Tanzania, it’s evident that more children will be out of school because of lack of resources in education and for family reasons. How does it make sense then, that 27 million boys are out of school, 100 million less than girls? I think the answer is clear. Boys are given opportunities that girls aren’t, boys are told to go to school and make something of themselves, when girls are told to stay at home and look after family. Malala, who openly campaigned for educational rights for women, says “Education is education. We should learn everything and then choose which path to follow.”
Even if a women gets an education, there is so much gender discrimination within job recruitment. Only 6 countries in the world give women the same legal work rights as men. The U.K, along with the United States, aren’t included in this list, and these are two of the richest countries in the world. It is Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden that come out on top for equality. Not only is this insanely sexist, it’s also a big mistake for the economy. If women in the UK were given the same job opportunities as men, it could add £180 million to Britain’s GDP.
There are many men nowadays helping around the house. They cook an odd meal, they push a buggy around, they take out the bins. However, this is mere tokenism, compared to what women do. A global study showed that men did a meagre hour and a half of housework a week. Women on the other hand, did an astonishing 40 hours. I find this completely unbelievable, as I’m sure you do too. This seems like a statistic out of the 1960s, not 2020. Even in the UK, women did 50% more of the housework. Although society believes that domestic inequality is a thing of the past, I think it’s obvious that this is still a major issue. Often, women do all this unpaid childcare and housework PLUS the demands of their paid work. This definitely doesn’t seem fair.
The media is also guilty of sexism. When a national daily newspaper reported on the death of an RAF pilot, they used the phrase “female pilot”. Would they have said “male pilot”? I think not. This is also true in the sports world. Have you ever heard a sports reporter say “men’s football”? And yet, we hear about the “women’s premier league” or the “women’s World Cup”. The media need to make this equal by adding the sex for both sports.
Many people say that sexism is on its way to being non-existent. Women have made big strides into becoming equal to men. For example, in 1882, women got the right to keep their property after they married. And in 1991, women gained the right to not be raped by their husband. How does it make sense then, that Donald Trump, a man with 26 sexual assault allegations, was voted President of the USA. The most powerful position in the world, was given to this man. If you owned a McDonalds, and a man with 26 sexual assault allegations applied to work there, would you you hire him? How can sexism be drawing to a close, if 4 years ago, people wanted this man to run the United States
To conclude, from education to the media, from the home to the workplace, I think it’s clear to see that men still come out on top. Sexism is still a major issue that effects women all over the world. So men, next time you talk to a woman, just think, is this how you’d treat a man?