Gender inequality and racial disparity
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Politics

We Won't Be Celebrating Equality this 4th of July

How much longer are we going to accept these horrendous disparities?

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We Won't Be Celebrating Equality this 4th of July

It is 2018, how have they just now been granted this right? Why was this disparity in gender equality present to begin with? How did they allow this to happen in their country for so long? These are only a few of the questions I have heard from friends and family regarding the ban on women drivers being lifted on June 24th, 2018 in Saudi Arabia. These questions point out a disparity in gender among individuals in a country far from our own, along with other inequalities present in their nation, but what about those in the United States of America? The Fourth of July is right around the corner, a day where U.S. citizens celebrate their Independence from England and rave about their freedoms, but freedom is not a word that is interchangeable with equality. Simply because we, citizens of the United States, "live in the land of the free and the home of the brave" does not mean that there are not issues and disparities present in our own county today, in 2018. How have they just now been granted this right? Why was this disparity in gender equality even present? These are questions discussed in history classes when students learn that women in the United States of America were only granted the right to vote less than one century ago and that African Americas were granted this right about four decades later. How did people allow this to happen for so long? A question other nations present to us when same-sex marriage was finally legalized on June 26th, 2015, only three years ago. The fact that anyone should be denied the right to marry who they wish is unfathomable; why have we just now accepted that everyone should be granted the right to love? The questions which arose from people in regards to the ban in Saudi Arabia being lifted should be posed to us here, in the United States of America. We rave about our freedom, we embrace the flag and our independence, but we do not live in a land where everyone is equal, where inequality does not exist.

We must ask ourselves, what disparities exist in our nation and why? Horrendous laws and unparalleled inequality in this nation exist today, in 2018, present among gender, race, orientation, and other differences between human individuals. There are gaps which create deeper boundaries among individuals based on wealth, representation, social class, poverty, and more. The wage gap is one of the most well-known and discussed gaps present in our society today; however, people may be surprised to find that these gaps which exist between gender, also vary drastically by race as well. According to a study by the National Partnership For Women & Families, the saying that women make "79 cents to the man's dollar" does not account for race. This study shows that when broken down by race, black women are typically paid 63 cents and Latinas 54 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. The reality of "women make 79 cents to the man's dollar" should really say "white women can make 79 cents to the man's dollar." Another disparity present is that of representation; gender representation in federal judgeships, Congress, and other positions of power are chronically known for having an unequal representation of women. Women, today, hold 17 out of the 100 Senate seats and only 92 of the 435 seats in the House. This means that the majority of the issues being discussed and concerns being heard are being dealt and decided predominantly by men. This is an issue which effects what changes and policies are implemented for whom. A third disparity is that in homeownership; homeownership results in accumulated wealth and tax savings for families, but only those who own, not rent, a home. According to a Stanford report, 41 percent of black families and 45 percent of Hispanic families live in owner-occupied housing, a drastic contrast to the 71 percent of white families. This racial disparity shows that many black and Hispanic families are not accumulating wealth from ownership or saving money on tax, a condition that surely attributes to the racial disparity present in the issue of poverty in this nation. The United States of America may be the "home of the free," but it is not the home of equality.

The 4th of July is a time to celebrate our Independence from England and embrace the freedom we were granted. In the Declaration of Independence it is stated that "all men are created equal," but this testament is not one with any governmental or real power. All men (and women) are not treated equally in our country. The wage gap results in less money for women; less money for them to support their families, less money to save, less money to buy food and other necessary items to live. The abolishment of this gap, according to the National Partnership For Women & Families, would result on average another 1.4 years of food for the family, 14 more months of child care, about 7 additional months of mortgage and utility payments, along with additional revenue for other necessary services. The result of unequal representation is that the concerns of the voices not represented are not be heard. Those who are personally affected by certain issues or have a particular interest in a policy change are not considered as heavily, as their voices are not there, as they are not being fought to be heard because they are not presently represented. Racial disparities in home ownership can lead to an understanding of racial disparities present in health, poverty, education, and numerous other aspects of life. Poverty exists in the United States of America. The racial disparity exists, and yes, inequality exists here in 2018. So I ask you, how long are we going to allow this to happen?

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