When it comes to the facts about women's lives, we don't need to focus on women's issues, do we? Nowadays, women and men are treated the same, right? Isn't the gender gap a myth? Don't women have equal rights already -- just like men? Aren't we guaranteed equal rights in the Constitution?
The answer to every single question above is 'no.'
As the following facts about women reveal, women's issues continue to matter because a huge gender gap exists in the U.S. And despite what many may think, we do not lead the world in gender equity for women. In fact, we're not even in the top ten.
Drawn from a cross-section of economic, social, and political concerns, these top 10 facts about women convey the enormity of the gap between men and women, and why focusing on women's issues and drawing attention to them is our best chance of closing the gap:
- Women earn 78 cents for every dollar a man makes
- Only 17% of the seats in Congress are held by women.
- One out of every four women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.
- One out of every six women will be sexually assaulted and/or raped in her lifetime.
- Although 48% of law school graduates and 45% of law firm associates are female, women make up only 22% of federal-level and 26% of state-level judgeships.
- Even in the 10 top paying jobs for women, females earn less than men; only one career -- speech pathology -- pays the same regardless of gender.
- It's not any better at the top. America's top female CEOs earn, on average, 33 cents for every dollar earned by a male CEO.
- There's nothing in the U.S. Constitution that guarantees women the same rights as a man. Despite attempts to add an Equal Rights Amendment, there is no guarantee of equal rights for women in any legal document or any piece of legislation.
- Despite previous attempts to ratify a UN treaty guaranteeing the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women, the U.S. refuses to support an international bill of rights for women signed by nearly every other nation on the planet.
- The World Economic Forum's 2009 report on the Global Gender Gap ranked 134 countries for gender parity. The U.S. didn't even make the top 10 -- it came in at number 31.