Provision of the equal rights for both genders gave women the opportunity to occupy the same positions as men and receive the equal pay for their work without any discrimination due to sex, as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights claims. However, American society still faces the problem of the pay gap, one of the main reasons of which is the tendency of women to contribute more to their family than their career.
Overall, men tend to receive higher wages in comparison to women. Among the evidences of such situation are the frequent statements of President Obama during his second campaign demonstrating that women receive 77 cents while men receive one dollar for doing the same work (Rosin, 2016). Yet the fairness of this statement is quite relative, because wages depend on profession, age, race, and numerous other factors. Working hours are often not taken into consideration as well. Thus, these numbers are medium, and may vary according to the above factors. There should be one addition to this statement: men may receive more because they work more. Moreover, due to certain social reasons, some women may prefer to avoid doing the jobs with high level of stress, or with a tense schedule; thus, everything depends upon the choice (Olson, 2012, p. 46). As a result, the input of both sexes per one working hour is distributed equally, and the gap appears because of the duration of the work.
Men and women have different roles in the family. The social roles, which mothers and fathers perform in such a social cell as a family, vary as well, which serves as the reason for the different attitude towards one’s work and career growth. Historically, women were considered the keepers of the family hearth. This rather romantic definition includes not such a romantic reality. To be more particular, women used to raise children, take care of the elderly relatives, keep the household, etc. Thus, family and household chores were and still remain the priority to women. On the contrary, men brought money into the family, and job was always their priority.
Having conducted the survey, Pew Research Centre discovered that women experience career interruption more frequently than man (Patten, 2015). In fact, 42% of women began to spend less time at work in order to take care of family members. The percentage of men in relation to the same point of the survey is 28. Additionally, 39% of women have taken a significant amount of time off for the same purpose, while the number in the column for men reaches 24%. As much as 27% of women quitted their jobs because of their families, while only 10% of men did the same. However, the percentage of rejecting promotion opportunities due to the family reasons by both sexes is almost equal – 13% of women and 10% of men.
Considering the above information regarding equal remuneration and the reasons for the decisions that women and men take regarding their career, it is clear that pay gap appears because women pay more attention to the family than man due to social distribution of responsibilities and duties (Miller, 2014).
The report of the American Association of University Women ‘Behind the Pay Gap’ conducted an empirical research on the graduates of the same university (The Simple Truth Gender Pay Gap, 2015, p. 9). It was found that 23% of women, who became mothers, were out of the workforce, and 17% of them worked part time 10 years after graduation. Among men, who were fathers, only 1% were out of the workforce and only 2% worked part time after the same period.
To conclude, the society has reached the equality of payment for equal job. However, in the field of distribution of family responsibilities between mothers and fathers, there is still a lot of aspects that require consideration. Till then, the statement ’77 cents on one dollar’ will probably remain true with possible deviations.
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