It’s a men world, they say. It’s better than ever to be a woman in this day and age, except for these little imbalance issues the world still needs to work on. However, women’s rights have come a long way, because we all know that there was a time when women had no right to vote, own property, or serve in the military. It’s hard to imagine, I know!
Today, in the eyes of the law women and men have equal rights, but there are still some exceptions where gender equality just doesn’t play out as it should.
Here are 10 ways in which women still aren’t equal to men! Tell us in the comments section if you agree and what’s your opinion about these “issues.”
Viagra isn’t taxed but tampons are
The items that are a medical necessity aren’t as clear-cut as we’d hope. However, some things are clear: Medications and supplies for men often make the list, while many of the things that are essential for women, don’t.
“That women still have to fight for birth control coverage on insurance while men often have access to erectile dysfunction medication is an outrage,” says Kristin Anderson, PhD, a professor of psychology at the University of Houston-Downtown and author of Modern Misogyny.
In addition, there are medications that are more expensive for women, like the well-known hair-loss drug, Rogaine, which costs 40% more for women than it does for men, even though it is exactly the same thing.
Less than 24 percent of members of congress are women
In 2020, the percentage of women in the United States went up to 51, yet, only 23.7 percent of Congress are women. Why?
“I think it comes down to two things: A lack of modeling, and stereotypes about what women should be,” says Elizabeth Lombardo, PhD, psychologist, and author of Better Than Perfect.
It’s probably because women are seen a being too soft and too sensitive to be in the tough world of politics, even though the more women see other women killing it in politics, the more they’ll be inspired to step into leadership roles themselves, she explains.
Men are more likely to receive higher salaries and raises than women in the same position
One reason that stands for the gender pay gap may be the difference in asking for more money. For example, only 7% of women tried to negotiate their salary when applying for a new job, one Harvard study shows. Also, it seems that women are more likely to apply and accept lower-paying jobs than men, even though they have the same skill levels.
“Many women are taught that they will be given what they deserve, and if they just do their best then their boss will notice their hard work and reward them with a raise,” Dr. Lombardo says.
“Men? They just ask for it.” This would be a good time to take a page from the men’s playbook, she says.
“Don’t let someone else define what you deserve. Do your research, decide for yourself what you are worth, and ask for what you want,” she says.
Women are less likely to get promoted than men
Family obligations make a woman’s career look very different than a man’s, and one of the primary ways this shows up is in promotions.
Apparently, women are 15% less likely to get promoted, even though both genders say they want to be promoted in equal amounts, according to a recent study done by LeanIn and Mckinsey & Co.
This may be because most women won’t apply for promotion unless they feel they meet the qualifications 100 percent, while men will apply even if they only partly qualify, Dr. Lombardo says.
Another reason may be the fact that men, in general, are seen as being more aggressive in pursuing career opportunities, while the same behavior in women is seen as “uncompromising,” she adds.
Additionally, there’s the work-life balance issue: 13% of women have turned down a promotion in order to better care for their children, according to data gathered by the Pew Research Foundation.
Men’s deodorant is cheaper than women’s
Most women already know that if you want to save some cash on personal items or services, like clothing, hygiene products, dry cleaning, and others, you should shop in the men’s section to avoid the “Pink Tax.”
A recent study compared products with almost identical ingredients and found that half the time, the woman’s product was more expensive, costing about 13% more. 40% of the time, the prices were equal, and the remaining 18% of the time, men paid more.
“The reason for this is the widely held cultural stereotype that women are complicated, and men are simple and straightforward,” Dr. Anderson says.
“In reality, this just reflects how ludicrous and arbitrary sexism can be.”
But, she notes, there is some improvement, with some states passing laws banning practices such as different prices for haircuts and dry cleaning.
Just 20 percent of CEOs are women
The gender gap in leadership increases along with the positions, according to the LeanIn study. At the entry-level, 52% are men and 48% are women. Moreover, at the manager level, 62% are men and 38% are women, at the vice-president level 70% are men and 30% are women, and almost 80% of CEOs being men.
“This is the perfect example of the ‘old boys club’ mentality; men are more likely to promote other men,” Dr. Lombardo says.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. One way to start changing this is by using your voice, she says.
“Corporate women are often afraid to speak up because they’re afraid to be wrong,” she explains. “It’s OK to be wrong. Failing doesn’t make you a failure.”
Ladies are always on dish duty
Even today, women of all ages are more likely to do more household chores than their male partners. A study published in the journal Work, Employment and Society found that women do spend around 16 hours of doing household chores per week, while men do to only 6. In 93% of the couples analyzed, women had almost all of the domestic duties. When both men and women are employed full time, the woman is still five times more likely to spend at least 20 hours a week doing household chores.
“I don’t think it’s a matter of men refusing to help out—it’s just that they don’t think about it as much,” Dr. Lombardo says.
“Women are natural multitaskers and so will automatically do things they see need doing while a man can walk past a sink full of dishes and not even register it as a thing that needs to be taken care of.”
The solution is simple. Talk it out! Don’t be afraid to ask your partner to pitch in, she says.
Female athletes in most sports earn less
For example, in tennis, Roger Federer has made $186.8 million in career prize money while Serena Williams has earned $58.4 million in career prize money.
The same goes for the ranking of the top 100 highest-paid athletes in the world, Serena Williams is the only woman. It’s still debated who is the better athlete, but it’s clear from their paychecks which one is the more valued athlete.
“In U.S. culture, masculinity is tied to sports, and athletic women threaten the masculine hold on sports,” Dr. Anderson says, adding that female athletes are downplayed in other ways too.
“In photographs in sports magazines, women are often portrayed off the court or field, in sexualized poses, while men are shown playing their sport. This is a strategy to trivialize their athleticism and make their presence in sports less threatening,” she says.
However, some new research has shown that sports are making steady, and slow progress in pay equality.
Mothers fare much worse in the workplace than fathers
Many working moms said they significantly reduced their working hours or quit their job because they had to take care of their children, according to the Pew Research survey.
This isn’t necessarily a problem on its own, because there are many women who want to make this change, but the financial repercussions for taking the “mommy track” can be harsh and set her back for the rest of her life, Dr. Lombardo says.
“Many (but not all) women are naturally more nurturing and emotionally attuned to the needs of others,” she explains.
“Unfortunately our society doesn’t inherently value those softer skills. They say, ‘Well that’s nice of you to do that but those skills aren’t worth any money.’”
It’s not that mothers should be paid for taking care of their own kids but rather to make taking leave and returning to work a lot easier, as well as implementing a flexible workplace that can lead to a more balanced life for all workers.
Women are more likely to live and die in poverty
Poverty should be treated in a serious manner no matter the gender, but some recent statistics have shown that women are at a much higher risk. Even though the rates for poverty are the same for both men and women throughout childhood, doing the childbearing years and again in old age, the chances increase for women, according to the Center for American Progress.
Women are getting more and more vulnerable with age, especially when we’re talking about women of color, single moms, and the elderly women. Poverty goes hand in hand with poor health outcomes and generates higher rates of suicide and depression, a greater risk of obesity, and a higher rate of infant and maternal death, this is why the needs of poor women need to be addressed stat.
“Because women start out with less, they end up with less, it’s really a vicious cycle,” Dr. Lombardo says.