Demanding Equal Pay Isn’t Feminism, It’s Common Sense

I think our grandchildren or even children will laugh at the idea that women weren’t paid equally as men for the same jobs. Women were denied jobs because of their gender? They would laugh at it out of ridiculousness.

In 1955, police officials arrested Rosa Parks because she refused to give up her bus seat to white people. Today, we scoff at the idea that black people weren’t allowed to sit in the front of the bus. Now, women receive less money than men for the same jobs. What’s so different? I mean, shouldn’t we be scoffing at the idea that women aren’t paid equally as men as much as we scoff about racism?

When President Obama began as president in 2009, the wage gap in the U.S. was 77 cents to the $1. According to the latest government data now it’s 79 cents. Many policymakers argue that the nation’s come a long way in terms of equal pay. But, that’s bull**** because last time I checked 1 is still greater than 0.79.

Among the many powerful figures actively fighting for equal pay is IMF managing director Christine Lagarde. In a recent forum organized by the Albright Institute at Wellesley College, Ms. Lagarde remarked “Inequality is sexist”. Ms. Lagarde is a hugely successful woman with one of her major accomplishments being the first female chairwoman of the international law firm Baker & Mckenzie and IMF head. One of the reasons Christine Lagarde also fights for gender equality is because she believes it would bring a stronger global economy. “Getting more women into the workforce isn’t just about equality, it’s smart economics”, she said.

Peru is a good example of how a country could positively effect its economy by giving women more job opportunities. In the 1990s Peru created laws to ban the discrimination of women and the country has seen so much growth in its economy since the law changes. Prior to the 1990s, less than half the Peruvian women population worked, but now about 68% of the women population work. With the influx of female labor Peruvian domestic production grew too. The GNI per capita index (gross national income) in Peru was $3000 in 2006 but increased to $5000 in the year 2014.

Countries like Russia, Japan and the U.S. face a massive shortage of workers as Baby Boomers are starting to retire in huge mass. Young women workers would be able to replace those people. The potential economic power of women labor is massive and we should make use of it. Strategy consulting firm McKinsey recently came up with a report saying that “if women played an identical role in the work world to that of men, global growth would skyrocket by $28 trillion (over 25%) by 2025”. Although $28 trillion might be a bit of an exaggeration, I think it is still true that a substantial positive effect would occur from giving more jobs to women. Fixing the gender inequality isn’t stealing from men and giving them to women. It’s about creating a bigger pie so everyone gets a bigger slice.

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