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Why Are Women Still Paid Less Than Men?

Updated on July 10, 2020
molometer profile image

Michael has been teaching social science economics and ICT since the 1980's.

Equal Pay for Women what went wrong?

The Equal Pay Act has been in force since 1963 in the USA and 1970 in the UK.

So why are women still paid less than their male equivalent?

Whenever we consider the economic rights of women, or try to discuss the women's rights movement. It raises many questions, and it has to be said. The hackles of some people.

Usually the same kind of people who still believe, that women should be in the kitchen, barefoot and pregnant.

There is of course a wide variety of excuses for this continued inequality. Much it is argued, can depend on the type of business, that they are working in. This is nonsense of course.

Relying on tips to make a living

Tipping is actually subsidizing Employers. They should be paying staff a living wage. A fair days pay for a fairs days work
Tipping is actually subsidizing Employers. They should be paying staff a living wage. A fair days pay for a fairs days work | Source

Women in Politics

Some occupations still have very few women in high ranking positions. Banking and Finance and the financial services sectors, for example, have very few women at the very top.

Political careers for women are marginal at best, and still almost non existent in the British Conservative party.

Although they cannot stop crowing that they were the first to have a female Prime Minister.(1925-2013) who was in power for three terms (1979-1991). What they fail to mention, is that Mrs Thatcher did nothing to improve the position of women in 'society'.

In a recent (2013) House of Commons select committee meeting. The failure of any significant change, in the gender of the political makeup, of Britain's Parliament, was hardly mentioned,

The fact that inequality in pay rates still existed for woman, even amongst Lawyers (7%) who were still being under-paid, was acknowledged but not discussed further.

Some of these highly qualified women were more than a little surprised to find that they were paid less.

Lawyers we would hope, should know better? Ironically this committee was chaired by a woman. More about this later.

Some Good News

Teaching is one of the few professions, where equal opportunities policies, have actually helped women to make significant progress. They do earn the same as male teachers.

In some countries women outnumber men in teaching, in other countries, education for women is seen as vital for the future development of these nations.

The medical field is still highly unbalanced with most doctors still being male and nurses predominantly female.

Women Only Vote

Are you treated equally at work?

See results

Very Few Women earn a Living Wage

A few celebs and the odd HR management type make money. In these jobs some women are in the higher paid grades. The entertainment industry has seen some major advances for women.

Women in the workplace, was parodied perfectly by several movies in the 1980s. Dolly Parton' 9 to 5 movie (1980). These movie's highlighted this continued inequity. Private Benjamin, (Goldie Hawn 1980) The Baby Boom movie (Diane Keaton 1987). While these films portrayed hope that things were changing, what has really happened.

The above occupations however, do not represent most ordinary women's experience of work. Most women cannot earn enough to keep themselves even in the very basics of life.

Where do most real Women Work?

The vast bulk of women workers, are working in sectors of the economy, that pay some of the lowest wages, in the developed world. Retail, restaurant and shop work.

Most have probably never heard of the feminist movement or equal rights for women. And could care less, when they are just trying to survive, and put food on the table.

Women's suffrage has always been a middle class women's preoccupation. With the working class women, manning the barricades when push came to shove.

As in the Matchgirls strike of 1888.

Equal Pay Act 1970

Equal rights for women, has led to the current situation, where there is no restriction, on the work that women can do.

In the real world, the work that most women actually do, can cover a wide range from, working behind the counter in a bookmakers shop, to answering the phone in a call centre. To waiting on tables, office cleaning and thousands of other tasks.

What they share, is that they are all generally menial, and usually low paid. Not the most glamorous of occupations at all, except maybe in the movies as mentioned above.

All of these types of work, are poorly paid, have very unsociable hours, little in the way of promotion prospects, health benefits or medical insurance.

Equal opportunities legislation has made little impact on these industries. If you ask staff why are women still paid less in these type of business. You will get an answer straight out of the 1950s. 'Women just work for pin money' or 'Need a bit of extra cash' The assumption is that they are not the main bread winner.

This is the reality of most real women's, working lives.

So what is the real reason for this disparity of work choice and income levels. It has been argued by some, in the comments section of the original question, that:-

(1) Women leave the workplace to have children.

(2) Women physically, cannot do the same kind of heavy lifting work as men.

(3) Women are not as ambitious as men. They follow different career paths. Which just happen to pay less.

(4) Women are less qualified than men in general.

Historically women have been disadvantaged due to many reasons. Paternalism is one of many historical excuses, for women's previous and current position. Let's be honest here. The above are all excuses not explanations. Equal rights exist but they need implementation.

Womens Rights Movement

Equality for Women. The Law

The Suffragettes or womens rights movement, and latterly the feminist movement, fought for many years to get laws changed. To make women equal to men in terms of property rights, amongst other things. (see timeline below for details)

To have the right, to the same wage for the same work. And the right to vote. As recent as 1907 in the UK, widows and unmarried women, for the first time, were allowed to stand for local council elections.

It was as late as 1918 that women were able to stand for Parliament. And those women over 30 were given the right to vote. It wasn't until, the UK Equal Pay Act 1970 was passed that equal rights in terms of pay, were conferred on women in Britain.

Equality for women had arrived. Or so many thought. The act was only introduced, after the women machinists at the Ford motor company, went on strike in 1968. The Suffragettes would be appalled if they knew what was happening today. 100 years after their fight for equality

New Rights and Changes in the Law were Meant to Uplift Women

The point is that the law is the law. If a woman finds herself being treated unfairly by an employer, there is now a legal route to take to rectify this. Equal rights really do exist.

How many women take this route? Not many, and why, because they may feel, that they will be seen as a troublemaker, and this will adversely affect their future job prospects.

This may tell us more about women in the workforce, than it does about 'their' perceptions of their true entitlement. So they keep quiet and put up with it, and nothing changes. It is safe to assume that the Suffragettes, would be pretty mad at this turn of events.

Some high profile cases have come to court. The women involved are made to look like 'they' are the 'problem' and are in the wrong? In a tough economic climate, people are scared to rock the boat. Without challenge, nothing changes.

Average Salaries in UK tell the Story. (Data Circa 2012)

Average UK Salary Range For Women £17,923 - £ 32,786. Just 40% of Women Earn This.

Average UK Salary Range For Men £22,353 - £ 44,622. 60% of Men Earn This.


42 years after the introduction of the Equal Pay Act 1970. Equality for women has still not come to pass. The Suffragettes pushed open the door. This generation it seems, have failed to walk through it.

Definition of Equality

There are at least two ways of looking at this ongoing inequality.

We could say that since the law was changed and women got the vote. Women have indeed come very far in a short while (less than a 100 years) For example from the same era. Slavery. was a totally legal business up until 1833, when it was banned (The Slavery Abolition Act 1833) in most countries.

Even though slavery is illegal, it is still practised in many countries today. Who's is at fault? The slave owners, the slaves, or the people that derive benefit from their enforced labour.

In many countries being a slave is a traditional form of existence. A way of life that many are born into. Their definition of equality, may be different to our view in the western world.

It may be Unpalatable, but it is still a Fact.

If they were not 'enslaved', they may die from starvation. From lack of the essentials needed to survive. i.e. shelter, food and water. This sounds similar to the arguments for the slave owners of the USA before that countries Civil War.

The fact is that we hear these comments, coming from the mouths of these modern day slaves. Is no accident.

The child labourers in the sports shoe factory sweat shops, still have to survive. It is probable that they would prefer not to be working in these conditions, but they have to do what work is available.

They are going through the same growing pains as every industrializing nation has done before. Their definition of equality is quite different, if it exists at all. You have to have the 'idea' of equality before you can demand it yourself.

Advanced Societies Definition of Equality

In the developed world, we like to think, that we would not tolerate slavery. Yet people support this trade by buying goods, manufactured under slave labour conditions.

Let us not forget the sex trade, where human beings are still bought and sold. From Pole Dancing To Prostitution. What is the difference, if you are a slave?

The point is that laws can be changed. We can all agree that certain things 'should' be everyone's 'rights', because they are just the right thing to do. In sociological terms. The above is a 'normative statement'. What we would like to happen. What we think, is the right thing to do.

We do not Live in a Normative World

How we would like it to be, compared to how it really is. Can be a huge difference. Observations based on what is 'actually' happening are known as 'positive statements'. What is going on in reality.

Real Change Takes Time

Attitudes can be Slow to Change

Just because the law has changed, doesn't mean that humans will change their behaviours attitudes and values. In many cases, they only stop or change their illegal behaviour, if they are caught and punished.

What has this to do with, why are women still paid less than men? Everything.

The law is there to ensure that we all, 'do the right thing'. Humans as we know from history, will do whatever they want, in the absence of law, and sometimes even when law exist, they still abuse and ignore it.

Equal Rights legislation, like Anti Slavery Laws, are already on the statute books. Women simply need to start using Equal Rights & Pay Law. Could it be that easy?

Next time you buy those cheap knock off designer clothes, perfume or whatever. Remember your purchase may be keeping someone else in slavery.

If you stop buying these products, will they starve? It is a dilemma. How does this fit with your definition of equality.

We could say that women haven't come far enough 'it's been almost a 100 years already' How long does society need, to make significant changes to attitudes.

Are women deliberately excluded from certain profession, business's and the highest positions in the land, simply because they are women.

As mentioned above, we all know that many low paid occupations are predominantly staffed by women. Check out clerks, shop assistants etc.

Technological Unemployment

Along with many former predominantly male occupations. We have lost millions of former well paid work, that women used to dominate. Typing, secretarial, telephone operators, and postal workers, were occupations that were well paid, compared to today's job market.

If you were a typist you had to be fast and accurate. Companies used to employ whole buildings full of 1000's of copy typists. Now all of those women have been replaced, by one person on a word-processor and a database of names and addresses.

The same is true for so many industries. The work has been 'automated'. Very little human input is now required.

Although many formerly male industries have vanished, so too, have those of women. We are living in a period of rapid change, which has led to widespread technological unemployment.

Technological Unemployment affected Women too

Propaganda posters

Public domain
Public domain | Source
Public domain
Public domain | Source

Women were seen as a second army of labour during WWII

Poster by J Howard Miller
Poster by J Howard Miller | Source

Are you a woman that has worked outside of the home

See results

Second Class Citizens

In Economic terms. Women have always been seen as:- A Reserve Army of Labour. Available to work, if the need arises.

This aspect of the role of women in the workforce, is most noticeable in wartime.

During the second world war, there was a shortage of labour. The men were off in the military. Women were encouraged to 'do their bit' for the war effort.

The propaganda was such, that many women felt guilty, if they did not contribute by working in the following industries. Many of these jobs were denied to them before.

Farming, Mining, Ship building, Weapons factories (Guns,Tanks, Bullets & Bomb making) House building, Plumbing, Electricians,Carpenters. Bus Driving, Train Diving.

Basically every single occupation. Traditionally associated with Men.

When the war came to an end. The men returned to find women, who had been earning the same money as them, who quite liked the idea of having some money. These women liked their new found financial freedom, and did not want to return to the kitchen sink and penury.

The government realizing that there was not enough work to go around for the returning soldiers, then began producing reverse propaganda, aimed at women who were working. This propaganda was designed to make women feel the following:-

They were not 'feminine' if they were not at home, to cook for their husband.

Their children were running wild, because 'they' were being selfish 'by working'?

They were loose and out of control. Which could lead to hysteria.

They were second class citizens, only useful for housekeeping and child-rearing duties.

Astonishingly, these ideas still prevail today. How many times have we heard the lament. Usually from some celebrity with one child, and two nannies.

'You can't have it all, you know. A job and a family'

Many women still feel guilty, if they hold down a full time job and have children. As if it is an impossibility to achieve both. On the other hand. Many women have to have a job and a family, and do both perfectly well.

It was always, and still is common for working class women, to have full time jobs even though usually poorly paid. It contributed to the household budget. Many households today, are headed by a woman alone.

The vast majority of women, have never had the luxury of sitting at home, or choosing a career. Women had to work to help support their families. They have been treated like second class citizens for so many years. It has become their norm.

Why do women work? Because they have to. They need that income. It is not 'pin money' as it is euphemistically called. It is essential to the finances of the family unit. In some cases women can earn more than their male partners. Although this is still a rarity.

Men feel this Pressure

Many men want to be good providers, husbands and fathers. Sometimes they too will take time off work to be with their children. this is still relatively rare. These men also pay the price in lost earnings, loss of promotions and careers derailed.


The original question asked in the forum generated some very interesting comments. The debate spawned many hubs.

Why are women still paid less than men?

The same, age old prejudices have emerged. The laws may have changed, but the values and attitudes of many people, it would seem have not changed much at all. Some people actually denied that this was the case i.e. ' that women are still paid less than men '

Some men responded with such antiquated ideas, it makes one wonder, if they have been living in a cave and totally missed the point.

Some women even defended the 'fact' that they should be paid less, as they couldn't physically do the same amount of heavy lifting as a man. Ironically these sound exactly like the protestations of second class citizens.

Having worked with a female plumber over 35 years ago. She worked as hard as any man and earned accordingly. The above excuses are a little lame.

So... why do 'you' think. Women are still paid less than men?

The Displacement of Women after WW II

Addendum Equal Rights for Women in UK Political Parties

There is an interesting and fundamental split in British politics, as far as women are concerned.

The Labour Party has always actively encouraged women from the earliest days of the movement. Increased women's participation in all forms of public life, has allowed the Labour party to push women to the forefront.

During elections, the Labour party actively puts women candidates, into seats that they know they have a strong chance of winning. i.e. seats that have been Labour strongholds for decades.

This has had the effect, of increasing the number of women Labour MPs in parliament to 20% of the overall party.

This has broken all previous records for women in politics in Britain. * So it is fair to say, that equal rights for women do exist, at least in the UK labour party, although they could do much better.

The Conservative Party or Tories

On the other hand the Conservative Party scandalously do the exact opposite. They put their women candidates into the least winnable seats.

The chance of them getting elected is so remote. It is pointless contesting the seat. The Conservative Party has not disclosed it reasons for this practice.

Equal rights for women it appears, do not apply, in the conservative party.

Although the Labour Party has been proactive in getting more women into politics. Labour's 20% female parliamentary members, while impressive still has a long way to go, when we consider that women make up over 52% of the UK population.

The conservatives on the other hand should be ashamed of themselves.

source Women in Parliament and Government Kathryn Keith and Feargal McGuinness

If our leaders cannot get it right, what chance has anyone else got.

These are the facts of economic life for women in the 21st century. Don't shoot the messenger

Parliament passed the Laws. Now it is up to Who?

Westminister Abbey:
Westminster Abbey, City of Westminster, London SW1P, UK

get directions


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    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Just came back to remind you all that this issue hasn't gone away. Women are still paid less than men in 2017?

      Women what are you going to do about it? Because it is patently obvious that men are not going to do it for you.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thanks Mary, it's 45+ years since the equal pay act was introduced and still they are robbing women of proper wages.

      It is a scandal of epic proportions and yet most women seem totally oblivious to this simple fact.

      These companies that pay women less than men for the same work should be named and shamed.

      In fact that is what I am going to do next.

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      Politicians and change move very slowly! You can pass all the laws you want but until they become the norm and people start to abide by them, well, you know what happens.

      It is just so infuriating to have a man and a woman doing the same job and the man gets paid more. Makes no sense whatsoever. If the job was different, or their experience level different, understandable. We know though, that is not the case.

      Articles like this hub need to be written and read, over and over, till society gets it right!

      Voted up, useful, and interesting.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi PurvisBobbi44 and thanks for popping in. It is hard to believe some of the caveman comments that this topic generates. Here in the UK the government has just announced that companies that employ over 250 must make their pay scales public? WTH!

      How about just applying the law and forcing these companies to pay people equally. Most Politicians make me sick but this current crop are beyond the pale. How they are still in office boggles the brain.

      The brass neck of these 'men' makes me wonder if they are the same species. Didn't they have mother's, wives,sister's. Are they morons? YES!

    • PurvisBobbi44 profile image

      Barbara Purvis Hunter 

      5 years ago from Florida

      Until women refuse to be treated in this manner it will continue. Now is the time for women to speak to the women senators and representatives and demand equal pay in the same job as men.

      Men in power in companies stating women are not paid equal because they are not strong enough to do certain job is an antiquated excuse for not paying the women equally.

      Men who think this way should trying giving birth and then tell me women are the weaker sex.

      The men I was fortunate enough to work with and for---believed in equal

      pay, and if they did not initially---they did shortly.

      So this is not cut in stone---every town, city, state and country follows in the footprints of their fathers before them---unless a woman reminds them they too support a family.

      This is a silent war between the sexes and lead by chauvinistic men. I say women speak up and loud---you deserve the best the world has to give.

      Thanks for writing this Michael,

      Bobbi Purvis

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you for leaving your interesting comment Sanxuary (Shannon)

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      It finally makes sense, I was wondering why men have all the crap jobs. If women work for less then it is only matter of time before men no longer work. Every Corporation is looking for the opportunity to cut hours, lower wages and basically have slaves. I have already seen a few companies where almost no men work there and like the majority of Americans we remain poor. I love the bosses who make crap and tow the Corporate line the most. Nothing like hiding behind rank and pretending no ones human. They really could careless about sex when they ship your job overseas and pay some kid a few cents. Why is our labor secretary not a woman? We could pay her less but boost advertising, remember men do not spend money according to advertisers and Hollywood. They all hope a computer replaces us all eventually. They turned us all into consumers and made us poor by not paying us a living wage and then they stand at the door and wonder when someone is going to buy something. What we learned in the great rip off or recession is that we really do not need most of the crap they keep trying to sell us. I demand that they pay my wife more so I can sit on my butt and complain about low wages for men but then again I think we are a team and the enemy is the same people.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Really Average American, are you sure about your simple assertion?

      I think there are many women who would totally disagree with your opinion.

      Thanks for sharing your idea.

    • Average American profile image

      Average American 

      6 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

      They don't ask for more. Plain and simple. that's the biggest reason.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello pramodgokhale and thank you for your interesting comments.

      Sadly the same thing has happened in the UK, in terms of aborting the female foetus.

      While it is not illegal to abort a child, just because she is female.

      It is morally repugnant to many in the west.

    • pramodgokhale profile image


      7 years ago from Pune( India)


      Women are leading everywhere and In India also we are partly successful providing incentives and benefits. Male dominated corp orates and society is still not prepared to give women equal status.

      Recently India's big banks have women CEOs , but it is cosmetic change , lot needs to be done. Aborting female embryo or sex determination during pregnancy and to abort female child is a common in India, medical practitioners are earning.

      It is pity of India's so called great culture. Literacy is the first step to achieve a goal and that is healthy society and healthy mind.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello JPSO138 that is very interesting to hear. It hasn't happened like that here in the UK or US. Women are much more active in the workforce but still earn less than men. It is a scandal, and of course totally illegal.

    • JPSO138 profile image


      7 years ago from Cebu, Philippines, International

      At present times here in our area, everyone is paid according to their work and ability regardless of gender. There was a time that most of the workers were male but now the trend is reverse. There are now more female workers in our area and some of them are even holding key positions. Great hub!

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Dear All,

      I have deleted the poll in this hub, as it was confusing and replaced it with two separate polls for clarity.

      I would appreciate it, if you could find the time to add your vote to the polls.

      Thanks everyone


    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Trish,

      Thank you for your comments. It is good to hear from someone that has experienced the 'changes', from the introduction of the equal pay act 1970 legislation.

      It is weird that we all just accepted it. 'That women would still be paid less than men, even though the laws had changed. As you mentioned.

      I began working in 1971 so was around before the change came in, and apart from a little talk (lip service)of the changes nothing much happened or changed at all.

      I agree with some of your observations re child care etc. Usually the parents are the best people to raise their children but as an educator you know this is not always the case.

      Teaching has been basically the one area where educated women could achieve equal pay.

      True a few women have managed to get into well paid jobs or even rise through the ranks to leadership roles.

      The law, has not helped the bulk of women in low pay jobs, which was the real point of the law change in the first place.

      The term trafficking? Sanitizes and waters down what is really going on. 'Slavery' is alive and thriving even now.

      We seem to have lost the plot recently as a species. Families are increasing marginalized.

      Why are women still paid less than men?

      One reason may be that employers take advantage of an erroneous perception. That women are still vulnerable and not protected by law, to be treated equally.

      Unfortunately many women also believe this erroneous perception.

    • Trish_M profile image

      Tricia Mason 

      8 years ago from The English Midlands

      Hi :)

      Very interesting and thought provoking.

      When I started work, the Equal Pay Act had not yet come into effect. It would do so later that year ~ 1975.

      I was told that I would be paid less than the men and I just accepted it. It was the norm, then, of course.

      The young men were given the work that the young women could not possibly do ~ until my colleague left a copy of the Sex Discrimination Act out on the desk. Then, and only then, were we allowed into the 'male territory'.

      Any comment on the fact that men were promoted more quickly than women resulted in the assumption that we were were either lesbians or trouble-makers ~ or both.

      The pay was good, though, and I was paid more than a lot of men at the time.

      Later, I went into education. Again I was paid more than some men I know. You mention careers in Education and I think that they are particularly attractive to women, because they can have the same holidays as their children.

      I do know some women, especially childless ones, who are right at the very top in their high-paid careers.

      Of course, it is still true that many women are paid less than men, and I think that leaving work to care for children ~ or elderly parents ~ could be a cause.

      Apart from physically being away from the workplace, or missing time if children are ill, they may not be able to keep up with the latest knowledge in their fields. They then might go for work, which requires little experience and few qualifications ~ part-time work, if their children are still young.

      The different, but related, fact that women are trafficked more as slaves, etc, is extremely worrying.

      I think that women are equal and should be treated as equals ~ but I know that it is sometimes the women, themselves, who state that men are, by definition, the superior gender.

      I also think ~ and, for some reason, this is considered controversial by many ~ that children deserve to be cared for by a parent. Some nurseries are terrible places. No child-minder or nursery nurse can give a child the time, care, love and devotion that a loving parent can give.

      Some parents can manage to work and spend a lot of time with their children. Sadly, others cannot ~ and an hour or so of 'quality time' is just not enough.

      Sadly, the government seems to encourage the institutionalisation of children, while their mothers go in search of non-existent jobs.

      Perhaps mothers ~ and fathers ~ should be rewarded financially for the extremely important work that they do in society, raising the people of the future ~ if allowed to do so, that is.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi LaThing,

      Thanks for reading and leaving an interesting comment.

      Wow COBAL you really were a pioneer in computing.

      Things have changed some but as you say there is room for improvement.

      Why not write the hub on your recent research. I am sure it would be interesting.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Robert Erich,

      Thank you for commenting. I think you have a very good point.

      What effect has it had on families, would make a great hub.

      If you check the original question I asked in the forums, you will find some very interesting comments that you could maybe incorporate into your hub.

      I look forward to reading it.

    • LaThing profile image


      8 years ago from From a World Within, USA

      Great article, agree with most of the point you have brought out. I was doing a research few months ago regard this topic and found similar info. In the late 1980s I was a young graduate, working in my field as a COBOL (yes, COBOL!!) programmer analyst, and I was surprised to find that I was one of the few working in the men's world! We had a conference in Portland, ME, 'Breaking through the glass ceiling'...... First of it's kind in Maine, But it was very interesting and informative, to say the least. I believe, things have changed since then, but there is a lot of room for improvement.

      Great article, voting up....

    • Robert Erich profile image

      Robert Erich 

      8 years ago from California

      Very interesting article. I may have to write an article about women and work myself. Although I am all for women's freedoms, I do agree that there may be some serious issues that have resulted from both parents working. Is this the best option for our society? I'm not entirely convinced.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Brandym2012,

      Glad you found it interesting. Equal rights are still not 100%

    • Brandym2012 profile image


      8 years ago from PA

      Interesting Hub! Thank you for sharing this information.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi cebutouristspot,

      What you say is true there are more women in good jobs. Just not enough of them?

      Why is this, is my question?

      Thanks for reading

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Brett,

      I totally agree with your comment.

      'need to completely rewrite the laws, making men equal in areas such as family, children, military service, pensions and childcare support'

      Why is it that 90% of the time, in family break-ups the women always 'get' the kids?

      There are many very good single mums out there, but there are also plenty, who just want the kids as it gives them a meal ticket too.

      What is all that about anyway?

      A rewrite is long overdue I agree.

      Thanks for reading

    • cebutouristspot profile image


      8 years ago from Cebu

      Molometer - Yup I notice that too but do you notice that women get more benefit than man (at least in my country)? But I do notice lately that lots of women are now occupying high post compare to a decade ago

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett C 

      8 years ago from Asia

      While I agree with equality, it should be total equality. The modern countries need to completely rewrite the laws, making men equal in areas such as family, children, military service, pensions and childcare support, while also making all areas equal towards women (as women have voted already and deserve to have equal rights).

      In the developing countries, the women should be asked first, as many like the idea until it comes to compulsory military service (still in many places), having to work while the husband stays home/paying support for the exhusband to take came of the kids. In some of these countries, the people are not yet ready to take on all areas of equality and possibly give up the advantages they have in the system.

      It would however take a full rewrite of all laws, benefits and education of the public.

      There is no correct answer, as it depends on the country and culture as too whether it could work, with a lot or reeducation required.

      Voted up, interesting and shared.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello ib radmasters,

      I found your comments interesting, if a little inaccurate.

      Men and women have been working in equal numbers since the beginning of time.

      We would not have survived as a species otherwise.

      I think you have misunderstood the statement.

      'All men are created equal'

      It's origins and concept.

      Thanks for leaving your comment.

      A little controversial some may find.

    • ib radmasters profile image

      ib radmasters 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      Men have been in the workforce for a longer period of time than women, yet some men make more than other men. At the same time some women make less than other women.

      As there are more men in the job markets than women, it is more of a problem with numbers than gender.

      I do agree that women have gotten the short end of the stick throughout history, and even in this country. When our founders said that "All Men Are Created Equal", I believe that Men was male, and not a synonym for mankind.

      Yet, while women have some protection against discrimination in the workplace, the average white male in the business world has no protection from the harassment, and discrimination in the workplace.

      With the ubiquitous use of the At Will Employment Contract given to most non union private sector workers, employers don't have to give a reason to fire employees. So they can be discriminatory without having to give evident of it. So we all lose here.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Anamika S,

      I think I agree with you!?

      In the 'developed world' The laws are in place already.

      Women must take up the fight.

      I haven't been to India yet, but I am aware of the inequalities that exist there.

      My daughter lives in the middle east and some of the things that she tells me, make me wonder if these countries are even in the 21st century?

      In the developed world women do have the protection of the law.

      'They' must start using it.

      India and the Middle East and similar countries? That is another question all together.

      How long before they even get the legislation?

    • Anamika S profile image

      Anamika S Jain 

      8 years ago from Mumbai - Maharashtra, India

      Personally I think women are responsible for their plight. For instance, there is this reservation system for women which I think is de-grading woman more than giving them equality. I would rather compete with men than accept anything under reservation. I have worked in MNC's and Banks and have never had any problem getting my due. But yes, woman are looked down in the Indian society.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi jenubouka,

      Remember, you said it lol

      I am not falling for that old stereotype :)

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Molometer you have "us" there, women tend to drive horribly, but hey we have a million things on our mind!

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Vinaya Ghimire

      Phew! thank the stars it was a typo lol

      I have deleted said comments.


    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 

      8 years ago from Nepal

      Sorry about some typos in my comment. I wanted to say that women in my country have three months pregnancy leave all the while being paid with their usual pay scale.


    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi stugod,

      Talk about putting a foot in ones mouth.

      That guy must have thought 'there goes the contract.

      It is amazing how 'wrong' somethings still are.

      Thanks for sharing this funny and interesting story.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Many years ago I was attending a pre contract meeting with a pretty heavy weight client. On arriving my contracts manager told the girl in the reception lounge to go get the kettle on. She spun around on her high heels and replied I am the quantity surveyor. As this is the prime position in demolition/construction for allotting money I pretty much thought the job was doomed from then on in. It turned out ok in the end though.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi marcygoodfleisch,

      This is what sparked the question all those weeks ago.

      Why is this still happening? Are we that distracted?

      When will this be sorted out finally?

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Melovy,

      Thank you for your honest no nonsense comments.

      I was fortunate in the 70's and 80's to work with some full on feminists. They had a huge influence on me.

      I saw my mother work for peanuts her whole life.

      My views then are both from personal observations and data which is readily available.

      For some reason the term 'feminist' these days is ridiculed?

      Anyone that challenges the status quo is a trouble maker?

      Women still get paid less than men because, women haven't sued enough companies.

      Go for it I say.

    • Marcy Goodfleisch profile image

      Marcy Goodfleisch 

      8 years ago from Planet Earth

      I agree that attitudes have not changed. I continued to see discrimination against women in just about every position during my career, and I still see it. As Melovy said, this is an interesting topic and it isn't yet resolved.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi suziecat7,

      I think you are right. Sisters need to be doing it for themselves. Because men are definitely not going to?

      The law is there to be used.

    • Melovy profile image

      Yvonne Spence 

      8 years ago from UK

      Very interesting hub, you’ve covered it in a lot of depth. I think your point that laws may have changed but attitudes haven’t says it all.

      It’s been a while since I had a ‘proper job’ but I used to teach years ago and noticed that if women got into management positions (deputy head etc) there was a lot of bitching about them from both male and female staff. I remember it mostly from a couple of male teachers, but it was fairly widespread. It was far, far more than occurred with the male management. So perhaps women don’t progress up the scale because of that?

      I was an ardent feminist in my twenties, but to be honest I think that was probably a cover for my many limiting beliefs and lack of real confidence - I tried to run a business and couldn’t make it pay. Later, when we had kids it was obvious we couldn’t live on what I earned, whereas my husband had a good salary so I stayed home. In many ways it’s been good as it has allowed me to move into writing, but earning very little of my own has been a downside.

      We each need to look at our own beliefs for this to change, and I am now actively working towards changing my attitudes towards money and improving my income because I do think it’s time to value what I do. If I don’t, why should I expect anyone else to?

    • suziecat7 profile image


      8 years ago from Asheville, NC

      It's frustrating really. You would think that by 2012 we would be more enlightened. I believe there's been a backward slide for women and some of it is our fault. This is a thought-provoking Hub. Rated up!

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello jenubouka,

      It is weird that when it comes to the catering industry. Men do still seem to dominate.

      How many times have we heard 'the best chefs are men'?

      My son was a chef and found the work very rewarding but the hours are a killer.

      The idea that one gender is better than another is controversial to say the least.

      Technically in reality, there is no such thing as multi-tasking, just that some people appear to be doing several things simultaneously.

      It is true, that I have seen women driving while answering the phone and applying mascara.

      In my experience (driving behind them)they tend to do all 3 rather badly :)

      Thanks for reading and leaving your thought provoking comment.

      I like the flowers too :)

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Hubert,

      I totally agree. There are women in business here in the UK who have made amazing progress.

      They do run their own companies. Some of these are multi nationals like Body Shop started by Anita Roddick.

      She did an incredible job hiring women all over the world and made a huge difference.

      Women like Anita tend to be the exception rather than the rule and most women do 'jobs' like most men.

      The difference is they get paid a hell of a lot less.

      Times are changing but very slowly.

      Thanks for reading Hubert and revising your comment lol

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi pramodgokhale,

      Your points are well made. In developing countries there is also a long way to go.

      In developed countries laws exist to protect women's rights and everywhere we see them ignored.

      We certainly do have a long way to go still.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you Billybuc,

      I think you got it right. Unless people protest in their millions nothing changes.

      The comfort zone issue is totally relevant. The unions seem to have lost the plot on this topic.

      Thanks for reading and leaving a great comment.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Always exploring,

      It is so true. Makes me wonder why?

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      What a great read Molometer, and the flowers made my day! Perhaps someday we, women, can work side by side with the men population and not detest who is the better or more efficient. Of course as a woman, I must favor the idea of the female work force as the more talented and multi-tasker. For the majority of the working females we juggle careers, children, jobs, and relationships, most men are only able to focus on one thing at a time. May sound feminist but I have seen first hand in my profession. Working in a kitchen I find it ironic that men desire to play the upper hand in this realm.

    • alocsin profile image

      Aurelio Locsin 

      8 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Sadly, your conclusions are true here in the U.S. as well. I do a lot of job articles and have discovered that in most cases, women get paid less than men. Even in academia, which probably pushes women's rights more than any other profession, female professors tend to earn less than the male ones. Voting this Up and Interesting.

    • profile image

      Hubert Williams 

      8 years ago

      Michael, I had this wonderful answer all ready to submit to you. After reading it back to myself a couple of times it turned out, in my opinion to be just decades old dribble and bovine defecation so I deleted it before anyone saw it. #3 on your list does not describe a great deal of women that I have known who are very ambitious, dare I say tenacious, in their efforts to earn a living. After not finding satisfaction or equality in the workplaces available to them, they formed their own companies or small businesses. I realize that not everybody will or can do that, but if enough women could do it, they could change those inequalities in compensation. That would help just a little, but it would be a start.

    • pramodgokhale profile image


      8 years ago from Pune( India)

      Yes there is discrimination, first by nature and society.The male dominated society is not sympathetic to female gender. We need empathy and sympathy.

      The women are competing in every field but equal opportunities are denied for some reasons.

      Heavy work where woman can not do the jobs. In developing countries situation is bad ,women worked in farms, construction equally with men but get wages less than men.Sexual harassment is another factor that prohibits opportunities and employment to them.

      Mankind has long way to go and until mindset develops and women may be treated equally with men.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      8 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Well my friend, you are spot on with this subject. Unfortunately I don't know that there is a simple answer why...only that it is! There are many laws that are ignored by politicians and big business and this is just one of them. Change will only happen when there is a concerted effort on the part of millions to make it happen. I have often wondered over the years if industrialized nations have lost their ability or will to protest; it takes them out of their comfort level and well, things are bad but they could be worse...that sort of mentality. Anyway, enough rambling...well-done my friend!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      8 years ago from Southern Illinois

      This is great. I learned a lot. Rarely do you see a woman CEO or even allowed in the boardroom..

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello LauraGT,

      There is always hope :)

    • LauraGT profile image


      8 years ago from MA

      Yes, there are many, many factors at play. I don't think sexism is the only factor, but is one. Hopefully one day there won't be a need for the law anymore! :)

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi LauraGT,

      I do understand that these things of course go on regardless of the law.

      Saying sexism is the problem is missing the point and a little bit of a cop out. The Law is The Law!

      I pointed this out in the hub.

      I think what some women are missing is, that these laws 'can' change attitudes if enough employers get hammered.

      Employers only change when it affects the bottom line.

      The women of the Ford motor company went on strike in 1968 for equal pay.

      They got it and 2 years later it became the law in Britain.

      42 years later women still earn a full third less than men?

      How can this still be justified? '42 years'? It beggars belief.

      Sexism still exists? So does the protection of the Law.

      Thanks for commenting again. This is a tough cookie to crack.

      At least we are talking about it again.

      I was beginning to think that womens rights were a banned subject!?:)

    • LauraGT profile image


      8 years ago from MA

      I'm not really sure how you can separate the two. Just because a law is there to protect against something doesn't mean the think doesn't exist. Yes, things have come far in terms of equal rights. But, women don't simply shy away from lawsuits because they're afraid of being called "trouble makers." I think there is a lot of gray out there. It can be hard to prove that an inequality in pay is due to gender rather than some other factor, many would (rightfully) fear for their jobs and futures, etc. Thanks for pushing the envelope. ;)

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello LauraGT,

      Sexism may well be alive and well but it is off this specific topic.

      Here we are talking about equal pay for women, and the fact that laws already exist to prevent this specific type of workplace abuse.

      Why are women still paid less than men?

      Because the law is being ignored and people are not bringing cases to court.

      Sexism of course, is a big problem still maybe there is a hub there for you to think about.

      Thanks for commenting.

    • LauraGT profile image


      8 years ago from MA

      Hi there. I definitely think sexism is alive and well. Just look at numbers of rapes, domestic violence, strip clubs, and just negative and demeaning commentary about women out there. I think sexism in the workplace is probably not as obvious these days, but the negative attitudes towards women permeate many aspect of our lives.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello Levertis Steele,

      I have posted your comment after much thought.

      I did not want you to get a tirade, in response to your views. But they have some validity and should be seen.

      I can see why, you would think the way you do.

      It appears that certain occupations 'pay more'.

      In your example football (soccer) players can make huge salaries? but why?

      Is it really, that they talented beyond belief, or more accurately, that there are millions of idiots that follow teams, and buy the merchandise?

      Would you prefer to have a soccer player, to teach your children how to dribble and kick a ball.

      Rather than a good teacher, to teach them how to read, write and be a contributing member of society?

      The system of rewards is completely cock-eyed.

      Why don't women soccer players earn on a par with men?

      Why are women still paid less than men?

      Because we allow it to happen. It is completely illegal and yet it persists.

      Thank you for reading and leaving such a controversial but probably accurate comment, on what many people still think is the truth!?

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello GoodLady,

      It is interesting and disturbing that these attitudes still exist. The laws are in place to protect us.

      What would these companies do, if people refused to work for a fraction or even zero income?

      I wrote another hub on unemployment, and the way people are being abused by huge corporations.

      The so-called intern programmes, which in many cases are just a mockery of the whole concept.

      The fear of losing the post/job is what drives this.

      When are we going to wake up and smell the coffee?

      When people face these things alone it can be daunting.

      The law is there. People need to start applying it to these rouge companies.

      Thanks for reading and leaving a timely comment.

      P.S. I am following you but pressed the wrong button and never left a comment.

      Your work is very interesting and inspiring.

      I just may visit Tuscany. Sounds lovely.

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hello LauraGT,

      Thank you for reading and leaving a comment.

      I was surprised that you think that the current state of affairs, has anything to do with sexism at all?

      Those days I would conclude are long gone!

      There have been so many high profile sexual harassment cases in court, and won by the plaintiff.

      That 'anyone' who is openly sexist today, is a moron and will be unemployed tomorrow.

      That is simply the law!

    • molometer profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Nell Rose,

      You are absolutely right on both counts.

      Women in general have been so brow beaten over the centuries, that there does seem to be, this in-built fear of speaking up, and challenging the status quo.

      As you say there is the fear 'there is always someone who can replace you'!

      I too have witnessed, the scene you describe in a wide variety of business's, where the men do bugger all and still get paid more.

    • GoodLady profile image

      Penelope Hart 

      8 years ago from Rome, Italy

      Just voted in your poll and already the "yes" option has 50% of the votes! Very interesting statistic. Interesting Conservative/Labour info!

      I think what is really holding women back, ultimately, is fear of losing their positions.(creating ripples they might have to pay for). I could be wrong. It was what kept me back when I was in the workplace,bringing up two children as a single mother.

      One of my daughter in laws (who has a 2 year old) works full time in an ad agency where a lot of colleagues are being laid off. She keeps her mouth shut and her eyes down and brings home an average paycheck (for an executive position job she really should be earning for!). My other daughter in law is working for nothing! (She has been trying to break into the fashion stylist's world for one year). She works as a waitress to bring her cash in. Here there is equality! Waiters earn the same in tips.

      Voting UP.

    • Levertis Steele profile image

      Levertis Steele 

      8 years ago from Southern Clime

      I think that women get paid less than men because men think that they should make more money than women, and men head more work places. Because men are physically stronger, they may do more and heavier work in some situations.

      The more sophisticated and important general society feels a job is, the more the pay. Professional sports, television entertainment, medical specialists, CEO's of large businesses, and other highly respected positions, make grand salaries.

      Servile professional jobs pay fairly decently but not as much as the highly respected positions above. Examples would be nurse, teacher, or minister. A school principal is somewhat in a servile position, but he is head of the school, so he gets paid more than his lesser colleagues.

      Housekeepers in private homes and institutions, teacher aids, file clerks, orderlies, and such, are not required to be highly educated or qualified. Besides, training does not take very long for these positions, so, their salaries may range from minimum wages and slightly higher.

      The jobs that society respects the most is usually the highest paid one, except for the US Presidency. I have always wondered why a President makes less money than a top, experienced football player or famous movie star.

      More women hold some servile positions than men. A wife in the lower income bracket may work as a nurse or teacher aide, or a fast food worker while her husband may work as a construction worker, painter, or garbage man. Still, the man get paid more.

      A reason for low-paid females' salaries could be just the practice of paying women less. We live in a society that values men's work over women's. Strength, endurance, and amount of work load may be among the other reasons for paying men more.

    • LauraGT profile image


      8 years ago from MA

      Thanks for the thoughtful hub. Lots of interesting points. At least here in the good old USA, women are still often paid less than men for equivalent work. Good, old fashioned sexism at work. I think there are many factors, but women's equality still has a long way to go.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      8 years ago from England

      Hi, molometer, this was a fascinating read, I must admit that I never thought of the point you made about after the war women were made to feel bad if they carried on working, but of course! We actually had a bit of a spat at work about this subject, there were a couple of 'lads' who were supposed to do a certain job, this was in an office, and all they did all day was play games on the pc, they were the same level as us, but were paid two pounds more an hour! There was the usual, well yes, umm, type of comments, but nothing was done about it. Its so true that women are afraid to open their mouths about this, they tend to get the impression that 'there is always someone else out there that needs your job'! great hub, and info, and something we should all look into, thanks! rated up across the board, and thanks for Sharing!


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