Raising the Minimum Wage for Women: How Should Wage Eqaulity Be Achieved

The team issue we have chosen for our topic is Gender Equality, as it seems to be a big dilemma around the world right now. I chose to write about the economic issue of gender equality since there have been many debates around the issue that men usually get paid more than women due to gender. Wage equality, also known as equal pay, means the right of a man or woman to receive the same pay as a person of the opposite sex doing the same or similar work for the same or a similar employer (Dictionary.com).

In other words, women have not been earning the same amount of money as men even if they have the same job. This is an issue that affects women globally because it is obviously unfair to women and they want to make a change about it. A local example of men getting paid more than women even when they do the same work is the U.S Women’s Soccer team. The U.S Women’s Soccer team has been much more successful than the U.S Men’s Soccer team, but the wages earned by male and female players do not reflect the difference in success, as female players are paid much less than their less successful male counterparts (Jessop). In response to that wage disparity, the women on the team seek more than $66 million as part of their gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation (Newsela). The lawsuit was filed under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (Hays). While this is an extraordinary example concerning highly paid athletes, it is not uncommon to see differences in the pay men and women receive for the same job. What can we do to achieve wage equality?

There are many solutions to wage equality, we just have to find the ones that work most efficiently. One social / economic solution to the problem would be to increase television revenue for women’s sports.This is to let people know that female athletes are not getting paid the same amount as fellow male athletes. When talking about sports, for example the U.S Women’s Soccer Team is not getting paid the same amount as the U.S Men’s Soccer Team. The sponsorships, television rights, merchandise and other monies, which are generated for the prize money, is much greater for the men’s team compared to the women’s team (Kelly). An example of this would be that in 2019 the prize money for the women’s World Cup was about $30 million, and which the winner takes home about $4 million. On the other hand, the prize money for the men’s 2018 World Cup was roughly $400 million and the champions took home $38 million (Kelly).

The sponsors for the women’s team would need more viewers and buyers to raise more money for the team; the increase in sponsors and viewers would reflect a social change in which excellence in sport is not defined by gender. We can also increase revenue on popular social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter (Vagianos). Since social media is a big thing now with a lot of users and a lot of different types of platforms, it is a great way to show ads to help raise money and also a great way to start giving our thoughts on wage equality and what changes should be made.

Another solution to wage inequality would be to raise the federal minimum wage (Vagianos). Women working full time, and year around across all industries and including all races and ethnicities, earn an average of 78 percent as much as the men working with them do, which leaves a wage gap of 22 cents on the dollar (Vagianos). The economics evidence shows that raising the minimum wage does not lead to higher unemployment overall but rather boosts productivity and addresses a growing issue in our economy of rising inequality (Boushey). Not only is this beneficial to women, it can also be helpful by reducing poverty by 900,000 people just by just raising the minimum wage to $10.10 (Boushey).

Another reason why the government should increase the minimum wage is because it is necessary both for improving women’s quality of life and for creating a more just economic system (NC Women). In the United States, poverty has increasingly become a women’s problem, so women are more likely to live in poverty compared to men, because they can not afford the necessities (NC Women). In 2014 a study showed that women make up almost two thirds of the low-wage workforce even though they represent less than half the nation’s workers (NC Women). Raising the minimum wage is a significant way to start getting women with the same jobs as men paid the same wage.

Finally another solution to closing the wage gap would be to pass additional wage equality legislation. In response to that many states, but not enough, have already passed the Equal Rights Amendment, to ensure that women are treated equally and fairly in all areas of society, including the workforce. Unfortunately, the ERA has not received the ratification by the number of states required to become a law (Vagianos). The Equal Rights Amendment is a proposed amendment to the Constitution; it would guarantee equal legal rights for all American citizens regardless of sex. It would also require states to intervene in cases of gender violence, such as domestic violence and sexual harassment; it would guard against pregnancy and motherhood discrimination; and it would federally guarantee equal pay (Samal). The Equal Pay Act is another piece of legislation which would be beneficial for women; it is a law that requires equal pay for equal work.

If the government were to pass this, employees who do equal work would also be entitled to equal fringe benefits, such as equal health and life insurance coverage, retirement plans or pensions, pre-tax medical or dependent care savings accounts, and use of company equipment (Nolo). In fact Iceland has become the first country to pass equal laws. Under the new law, companies and government agencies that employ at least 25 people will be fined if they can’t prove they pay men and women equally. This means that companies are actually being held accountable (Trevino). Surely the U.S can be capable of passing the Equal Pay Act too. On the other hand, in STEM, the widest expected-pay gender gap exists in the Netherlands, where women respondents said they will look to earn about $34,415, and the men earn around $41,163, with a gender difference of 83.61% (Strauss).

In the end I think the best way to solve the world wide problem of gender inequality would be to pass the Equal Pay Act. I think that it would be the most efficient because it would become a law, and it would require people to follow it. Iceland is one step ahead of the U.S, surely if they can do it, we can do it too. This act would help women both in and out of the country get paid the same for doing the same work as men. Another solution that would also be a great way to stop gender inequality is to raise the federal minimum wage. Raising it can help the way women live getting paid equally and helping with raising children, finances, food and more.