Former President Barack Obama once said in a statement, “Women’s equality is a core civil and human rights principle in the United States and around the world. Across America, women are contributing to our economy and our Nation in innovative and exciting ways. From businesses to battlefields, women are vital to the prosperity and security of our country.” But in reality, huge disparities exist between the sexes across numerous ethnicities and social groups in different regions of the country. On the whole, womenfolk in southern America have a lower standard of living in comparison to their fellow countrywomen in the north with regard to economic prosperity.
Nevertheless, despite the laudable achievements for gender equality in the past years, there is strong evidence to suggest that even today, there are several gaps for which women continue to raise their voices. Some of them include:
- According to the Washington-based nonprofit organization, National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), in 2015, the average American women made only 78 cents for every single dollar paid to her male counterpart. Additionally, women of color were paid even lower, with African-American women being paid 64 cents and Hispanic women, 56 cents.
- The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), reports that in general, for every dollar earned by a man with minor children, a woman earns 74.7 cents.
- According to a January 2017 report of the nonprofit organization, Catalyst, which strives to promote gender equality at the workplace, only 5.2 percent women hold CEO positions in S&P 500 companies.
- Microsoft Research, the research division of Microsoft, predicts lesser number of female employees in American workplaces in the future. Based on the estimates of the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), it is believed that by 2018, 1.4 million technology jobs may go unfilled. Bearing in mind, the prevailing rates of new American computer-science graduates, researchers at Microsoft further predict that only 61 percent of the vacancies would be filled, with 29 percent of the workforce being females.
In addition to this, the labor market still differentiates between men and women in terms of compensation, work conditions and benefits. In general, women are paid less and are entitled to lesser paid leaves, in spite of the fact that most of them have young children and elderly parents to take care of. The NWLC reports approximately two-thirds of the minimum wage workforce in America is female, and sadly, the minimum wage is barely sufficient to stay above the poverty line. Moreover, while men have raised the bar with longer working hours and better pay and benefits, women with household responsibilities face more challenges to keep pace with unrealistic expectations.
Nevertheless, as the nation celebrates almost a century of significant achievements in women’s rights, America must remember there are yet some milestones that need to be covered. The nation is incomplete, as millions of American women still need to experience equality in their lives.
Prolonged workplace stress can be detrimental to mental health
What began as a campaign to seek the right to vote for American women, eventually culminated with the adoption of Amendment XIX to the U.S. Constitution, on Aug. 26, 1920, which is now celebrated as Women’s Equality Day. This day aims to create awareness about gender equality and the role of women in society.
Women rights should be upheld in all spheres of life including the workplace which seems to deviate from healthy work hour limits. The impact of such deviations often result in poor mental health of employees, especially women, who also have the obligation of fulfilling their roles of homemakers and caregivers.
Studies have revealed that over a period of time, prolonged working hours may manifest as mental health disorders, which could also push victims toward substance abuse and addiction. Nevertheless, a thorough mental health diagnosis is essential to guide and assist the victims of workplace stress to avoid worsening their condition.
If you or your loved one is struggling with any mental disorders, call our 24/7 helpline number or chat online to know about our state-of-the-art mental illness treatment facilities spread across California and other states of the U.S.