The society we are living in is shaped and reshaped by men, but the undeniable contribution of women in the different fields suggests that the contemporary society acknowledges the abilities, potentials and talents of women.
After their extensive fight for equal rights and opportunities, women now experience their share of liberation and parity rights. Today, women participate in milieus which were dominated by men in the past.With the involvement of women in many aspects of society that were dominated previously by men, some of us claim that we have already achieved a kind of society where males and females enjoy the same treatment and exercise the same rights. Some of us believe that we no longer undermine the abilities and capabilities of women. The underlying question is, do we really recognize women’s rights and have we truly eradicated gender inequality in the contemporary society?Gender inequality is an issue reverberating in every society. It has continually become a topic for public discussion among various concerned groups, as the inequality between men and women is a recurrent issue that manifests in many aspects of the society. The problem of gender inequality in the workplace is one of the most pressing issues branching out from the main problem.We must first understand the sociological factors which make it difficult for women to obtain same perks and benefits, wages, and job opportunities as men do.
Change in the family structures and configurations caused the dramatic alteration on the society’s workforce. The rise of male unemployment led to an increase in women employment. The inconsiderable decrease on wages of unskilled male workers changed the family income, causing women to force themselves to accept even low paying jobs (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 1994). The disparity in income also results in disproportionate distribution of income.
This causes women to become a part of the marginalized portion of the society. Consequently, poor women are left with no choice but to depend on men for support (Ojikutu & Stone, 2005).Findings of a study conducted by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research report that African-American, Asian, and Latina women of all professions continue to fall behind white men and women in terms of salary and wages and promotion in the workplace. One of the significant differences is the salary compensation received by men and women. The study reveals that white women receive 27% lower income for every one dollar earned by men, and a steeper income disparity is experienced by the Non-Caucasians (Lewis, 2004).
This significant difference in income is attributed to the stereotypical educational attainment between white women and women of other racial descent. Furthermore, it was also reported that Latina women are often excluded from the social groups that can help them achieve career advancement (Lewis, 2004).Moreover, the current system among companies appears more beneficial for white men as they occupy most of the top positions. They also tend to be more empathic towards white females regarding drawbacks of the system. Thus, aside from the significant disparity between men, the system creates inequality among women of different races (Lewis, 2004).Healthcare is another aspect where women are evidently disadvantaged.
Women get less attention with regards to healthcare and services than men do. As a result, the women have higher mortality rate than men. In the American society, women less medical attention and services than men and they receive less priority in the healthcare system.
According to the World Health Organization, more women are affected by HIV. The dramatic increase in the infected women has been noted in every continent. Biology explains scientifically this phenomenon; it was proven that the infectious virus more effectively transmitted from male to female than from female to male. However, the acquisition of HIV is a sociopolitical implication. This dilemma stems from the inequality between the sexes, societal structures, and accessibility and effectiveness of a country’s healthcare system (Ojikutu ; Stone, 2005).
Therefore, these evidences hiding underneath our claims of gender parity suggest otherwise. If we look closely at the societal mechanisms, we could assess that there is a prevailing gender inequality in the society.