Equal rights for women has been an ongoing battle since before many – well all of us were born. We’ve come a long way, from being “barefoot contessas” where tending to our children, keeping a tidy home, and making sure hot meals are on this dinner table was among our top priorities. Today women not only are able to become home makers and caregivers to their families, they have exeptional opportunity to be…well what ever we want to be.
According to the US Census women are just as likely as men to have completed college and hold advance degrees. With the past year’s recession showing a massive increase in job losses with practically everyone, women have noticeably been shielded the unemployment, a fact government officials have been accrediting to women receiving not only Bachelor degrees, but also Masters’ and Ph.D’s. Although the increase in the education of women is looked upon as an advancement, we still lag behind men in one specific and important area: pay.
“It won’t be long before women dominate higher education and every degree level up to Ph.D.,” said Mark Perry, an economics professor at the University of Michigan-Flint who is a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think-tank. “They are getting the skills that will protect them from future downturns.”
Twenty nine percent of women in the U.S. have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree compared to thirty percent of men who hold the same degree, and draw even with men in holding those advanced degrees. It’s predicted that within the next year, women could in fact surpass men in holding degree’s above the bachelor level. Despite women gaining momentum on the opposite sex in terms of education, we still are fighting for equal pay. This is causing many women to look for opportunities in higher educational arenas, because a lot of us believe that advanced degrees will allow us to make a bit more money. So in one arena we’re gaining on men in education, but it’s only because we can’t make the same amount of money as men without those advanced degrees. When will this change? Maybe in the years to come, but at least we’re achieving something – even if we’re lagging in another department – it’s still a catalyst for change.
“I don’t know if we can be heartened by the educational gains, because it is persistent wage discrimination that is driving women to get a higher education,” said Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. “As more women enter the workplace, I think they will realize the unfairness of the situation they’re experiencing and demand change.”
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