For as long as we can remember, pay equality has been a big issue within the workplace, especially when its comes to women. Equal pay has been law since 1963. But still 38 years later, women are still being paid less then men. Even when females have the same education, skills, and experience. In the last two decades, womens participation in the work force has been increasing in most areas of the world. In 1996, almost 45% of women aged 15-64, in the world were employed in some way or another. Female employment rates may soon be approaching those of men. In the United States, Canada, and

Scandinavian countries, women now make up nearly half of the employed population. In Southeast Asia women make up to 80% of the labor force and in China women make up almost 70%. With facts like these it makes us wonder why, if women make up most of the work force, why dont women get paid the same as men Especially, if women are qualified, educated, and able to work the same job as a man. It goes back in time, when women were the ones expected to stay home with the children, cook, and clean the house. Women were never treated or respected the same as men. Women were looked upon as weak, uneducated, and not able to fill the shoes of a man.

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In some aspects these stereo types still exist. Women are still expected to hold down women jobs for example secretaries, flight attendants, housekeepers, and waitresses. Alot of women are breaking down the stereo types by becoming doctors, lawyers, bankers, and construction workers. This only shows that women are in every way capable to fill the shoes of a man in the workplace. But still why isnt the pay equal Who gives anyone the right to say a woman can not earn the same salary as a man, when the same hours and amount of ffort is going into the same job.

Sure, women have come along way since the days they weren t able to vote, or go to work at all. But it is the year 2001 and the cost of living is going up for both genders, it is only right that women earn the same pay as men. It is not as though women get charged less for rent or food or utilities. In 1998, women were paid 73 cents on every dollar, a man was earning in the same position. Thats 27 dollars less to spend on things like groceries, shelter, child expenses, and other necessities. Woman of colour in overseas countries have it the worst.

In Africa, women earn only 67 cents and Latinos only 58 cents for every dollar a man earns. The average 25 year old female will lose up to $523 000 to unequal pay during her lifetime. If women are paid less now while they are working, there will be less money to save for futures and family in the years after retirement. Women will earn smaller pensions then men. In 1999, a women receiving a private pension got $3 486 per year. Where as a man received $7 020 per year. Between 1986 and 1996, womens earnings improved. After the several times income tax has increased, womens earnings have one from 52% to 60% of mens.

These numbers were based on the averages of men and women aged 18 years of age and older. There are many organizations throughout the world that support and represent the issues regarding pay equality towards woman. The Federal and Provincial Ministers of Canada came up with a project called The Economic Gender Equality Indicators. This project is used to raise the awareness of differences between men and women in the job world, monitor the changes of equality throughout time, and look into gender issues that raise concern in society.

This project also recognizes women in todays society and that they work twice as hard, than in past years. A typical woman puts in a full week at work as well as all the responsibilities at home, for example raising children. This project gives credit to women for their paid and unpaid work. The biggest and most well known organization in Canada, is The Ministry of Womens Equality in British Columbia. It is Canadas biggest ministry dedicated to equality for women. It was formed in November of 1991, by the government in B. C. The ministry researches and educates equality for women in all areas rom the workplace to the community.

The ministry believes that all men and women share the same equality in the workplace and in society. Its vision is to have a society where women of all ages, backgrounds, sexual preference, and religions will be able to have equal opportunities and choices throughout their lives. The ministry also provides support groups in various communities for women. In Canada we are lucky to have organizations like these that women from all walks of life can turn to for advice and support. If every province in Canada formed their own womens roup like the one in B. C. , things would change.

If all women band together, the government and labor associations may listen and acknowledge this issue more seriously. Alot of studies and surveys have been conducted on this topic. Many of all the studies come to the conclusion that working women provide more than half or more of their familys total income. When women earn equal pay, their familys income rises and the whole family benefits. Unequal pay also has an effect on men in the work force. Occupations that tend to be called womens jobs tend to pay less, do to the fact mostly omen are employed in these fields.

Where as man jobs tend to pay more. So if a man takes on a woman job he isnt earning as much as there is to be earned. This issue Im sure will go on for many years to come. There will be many different cases we will hear of, of women being paid unfairly for the career or job they work hard at. This will go on until society as a whole gets over their stereo typical images of women, and realize we are not living in the 1950s anymore. This is the year 2001, and people should wake up and realize it is time for a change.