“Women must earn less than men, because they are weaker, smaller and less intelligent,” asserted Janusz Korwin-Mikke in February of this year. Korwin-Mikke, who once ran to be Poland’s president, has angered women around the world. Uber has recently been accused of mistreating female employees and reports of sexual harassment have emerged. Last month, radio host Mike Francesa spouted off about women becoming professional coaches and stated “it’s not even something that would make sense to aspire to.” While this mentality may not be shared by all, gender inequality and sexism are very real issues.
Gender Inequality still persists
Last year, a panel of 4,602 nationally representative adults were polled about gender inequality. While 63% of women from Pew Research Center’s study still felt there were obstacles that women had to overcome, only 41% of men felt that women still faced these same obstacles. The United States has more women graduating from college each year, beating men at a ratio of 2:1. However, women continue to earn less money, do not share the same representation in higher level corporate jobs, and are 35% more apt to be impoverished over their male counterparts. And, when women break the glass ceiling? Are women in power treated with the same level of respect as their male counterparts?
Successful Women in Business
Ivanka Trump, a graduate from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, is an educated and successful woman. Already a bestselling author, Ivanka’s new book Women Who Work: Rewriting the Rules for Success will be released on May 2, 2017. The daughter of President Trump, Ivanka was Executive Vice President of Development and Acquisitions at the Trump Organization, co-founder of Trump Hotels, and CEO and founder of the Ivanka Trump Collection.
Ivanka is educated and has found her niche in the business world, yet recently the media was buzzing over one thing- her interaction with the prime minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau. Meeting up for the United States-Canada Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders, their goal was to help women in the workplace. This initiative is dedicated to supporting mothers who work, women who start their own businesses, as well as women in private enterprise. They were photographed together, with Ivanka turned to face the attractive prime minister. The coverage called Ivanka’s expression “thirsty” and “swooning”, diminishing her role, level of respect, and the important matter at hand.
Kellyanne Conway, the Founder and President of The Polling Company, has owned this corporation for 21 years. Conway was the first woman to successfully manage a presidential campaign, as the Campaign Manager for Donald Trump. She is an attorney licensed to practice in four states, holding a law degree, with honors, from George Washington University Law Center. She is a published author, a professionally trained moderator, and now serves as Counselor to the President. This highly successful woman has broken gender barriers throughout her career.
On March 1st, Rep. Cedric Richmond attacked Conway for a recent photo of her kneeling on the Oval Office sofa to take a photo. “…She really looks kind of familiar there in that position there,” he stated. This lewd and offensive comment, and the slew of commentary across social media, proves that while women may rise up in power, sexism is still alive and well.
Across the partisan line, Hillary Clinton has been a target as well. Author Marjorie J. Spruill, the author of Divided We Stand: The Battle Over Women’s Rights and Family Values That Polarized American Politics, writes about Conway and Clinton’s treatment by the nation. Spruill asserts that there “seems to be great resentment of both as power hungry and wanting to control men.” During her first campaign, Clinton was greeted by a heckler who told her “iron my shirt”, while people across the nation compared her to a witch and called her a shrew. Would Clinton have made it as far in the election campaign if she had three marriages and children from each relationship?
Gender Inequality addressed
Many individuals address the continued inequality between the genders. Feminist writer Rebecca Solnit writes about this in her book, Men Explain Things to Me. “It’s the presumption that makes it hard, at times, for any woman in any field; that keeps women from speaking up and from being heard when they dare; that crushes young women into silence by indicating, the way harassment on the street does, that this is not their world.”
Ashley Judd speaks about the harassment women endure, especially through the internet. Judd states that “online misogyny is a global gender rights tragedy, and it is imperative that it ends.” Elizabeth Nyamayaro started a successful initiative called HeForShe, which calls men from around the world to help gender equality. She states their program is “about uplifting all of us, women and men together.”
While gender inequality is a concern, many are speaking up and taking action to slowly fix this issue. As Zig Zigler wisely stated, “The first step in solving a problem is to recognize that it does exist.”