Issues women face today are numerous. Despite the long struggle for equality, despite the many valuable achievements, women still face many challenges and problems every day. It doesn’t refer only to one country, those issues exist even in the most developed societies.
Although rights for women have come a long way over the past few decades, there are still many issues women face today. There are many women around the world who are subject to oppression, gender inequality, gender stereotypes, and many more problems and challenges.
While women over the past century have fought a long battle for women to have many of the rights they have today, their work is not yet complete.
There are many people who wonder if there is a need for there to still be a women’s rights movement. Here are some of the biggest issues women face around the world today.
Issues Women Face Today 10) Underrepresentation in Politics
Most women throughout the world have the right to vote and the right to participate in their country’s political life. Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany, has been labeled the most powerful woman in the world year after year.
However, the problem is that women are poorly represented in most countries’ governments and legislative bodies. Only 19% of the members of the United States Congress are women, which is equal to that of Saudi Arabia, a country notorious for its negative treatment of women.
Only 49 nations worldwide have had female leaders. According to statistics from January of 2017, the percentage of women’s participation in national parliaments is only 23.3 percent. Rwanda is considered to be the country with the most women participating in politics, with its government being 61.3% female.
Many countries have begun to introduce quotas which declare that a certain percentage of women need to be in that country’s government.
Some people still believe that women cannot perform as well as men in politics, despite the numerous studies showing that this is not the case, which is why there is such a massive underrepresentation of women in politics.
Issues Women Face Today 9) Unequal Pay
It is widely accepted that women receive 77 cents to every dollar men receive around the world. This is also the case in the United States, despite the fact that the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was intended to prohibit this.
There are many stories of women who do not receive the same salary men do, despite doing the same work. The gap only gets larger when women have children.
The main reason for this is because women tend to not work in such high-level, high-paying positions as men do, but even according to statistics which study women and men working the same jobs with the same qualifications, women still only make 98 cents to every dollar men make.
According to a study conducted by the Georgetown Center on Education and the Workforce, women need to earn an extra degree in order to have the same salaries as men. And according to the World Economic Forum, it will take approximately 170 years to close the gap completely.
Yemen is considered the country with the largest wage gap, with women making up only 26 percent of the workforce. Pakistan, Jordan, Iran, and Lebanon also make up the top five countries for biggest gender wage gaps. Iceland is considered the country with the smallest wage gap and is also the first country in the world to legally demand equal pay between men and women.
The gender pay gap in Iceland is estimated to be eliminated by around 2022. Hopefully, more countries follow in its footsteps.
Issues Women Face Today 8) Problems with Maternity Leave
This is moreso a problem for American women than women in many other countries. The United States is the only developed country which has not federally mandated paid maternity leave.
Most countries throughout the world, including low-income nations, mandate some sort of paid leave for new mothers. Many women in America feel that they have to choose between having a family and having a job.
It is estimated that only about 11 percent of working Americans in the private sector have paid maternity leave.
Issues Women Face Today 7) Problems with Affording Education
While more women graduate from college than men, that does not mean that women have the same educational opportunities as men do, especially in other countries. Women having problems with affording an education is one of the main issues affecting women’s rights worldwide.
Women who are single mothers, in poverty and survivors of abuse are especially less likely to be able to afford an education. Those women who do not graduate from college are estimated to earn 67 percent less than those who do, and are more likely to remain in poverty, have serious health issues, and die prematurely.
The percentage of single mothers under the age of 30 who have graduated from college is only 7 percent. Childcare and housing affect women’s ability to afford a degree, because that takes up a good portion of their income. In some countries worldwide, discrimination and strict beliefs prevent women from finishing their education.
Allowing women to have an education is considered the most effective way to ensure a woman has lifelong success.
Issues Women Face Today 6) Higher Risk of Poverty
Poverty is the main problem worldwide, but it especially is a challenge for women. Women are more apt to live in poverty than men by approximately 35 percent.
This is the case because women are more likely than men to be under-compensated, work low-wage jobs, and perform unpaid caregiving work. It is estimated that one in every eight women in America live in poverty, of which 45.7 percent live in extreme poverty.
The chance of a Native American, African American, Hispanic, or Asian woman living in poverty was especially higher. It has also been discovered that women tend to work longer days than men do; by the end of her life, a woman will work four years longer than a man.
Issues Women Face Today 5) Stereotypes
Gender stereotypes exist in all cultures and societies, although some have more strict stereotypes than others. Some cultures may also have different stereotypes than others, and ones that are less harmful than others.
For example, women are expected to dress femininely, be polite, and be nurturing, whereas men are expected to be more aggressive and bold. Blue is considered a masculine color and pink is considered a feminine color.
In many cultures, women are expected to be the homemakers, to take care of children, cook, clean the house, and work in professions such as teaching or nursing, whereas men are expected to work higher-paying jobs such as doctors and engineers, take care of all the finances, work outside of the home, and do repairs.
Sometimes, these gendered stereotypes can be harmful, and can prevent people from expressing themselves in the best way possible. Men sometimes feel that they cannot be emotional, and women sometimes feel that they cannot be assertive and intelligent.
These stereotypes can sometimes get in the way of a person’s happiness, their ability to find good work, be accepted in the university program of their choice, and more.
Issues Women Face Today 4) Oversexualization
If you have ever watched a music video, you may have seen the amount of women dressed in scantily clad clothing and dancing erotically. Many perfume and cologne advertisements feature women almost or completely naked. In short, sex sells in our society.
Many women feel pressured to have large breasts and large buttocks. Those women who do not fit the sexualized stereotype may feel negatively about their bodies, to the point where many feel as though they need to undergo plastic surgery to change their bodies.
Porn also plays a negative role in the way people view the female body. It is estimated that the porn industry generates about 100 million dollars yearly, which is more than the football, basketball, and baseball industries combined.
Studies show that more exposure to porn can increase the likelihood of sexual violence. Constantly seeing women displayed as sex objects can cause a man to feel as though he has the right to force a woman into participating in sexual acts.
Showing a woman’s worth as being solely in her sexual body parts plays a large negative impact on women’s self-confidence and self-perception.
Issues Women Face Today 3) Double Standards
There are many double standards in gender roles and beliefs that people have for each gender that often negatively affect our society. For example, men are expected to be sexually active from a young age, but if a woman is sexually active, she will be criticized heavily and be looked down upon.
Men who are assertive are considered to be bosses, whereas an assertive woman is considered to be a “bitch.” If a man is successful in his work, he is praised, but a successful woman is often accused of sleeping her way to the top.
If a woman gets angry, she is accused of having PMS, but if a man gets angry, then it is seen as normal and that he is simply blowing off steam.
Issues Women Face Today 2) Rape is not Properly Prosecuted
One out of every five women is a victim of sexual assault. It is said that every 98 seconds, an American experiences sexual assault. 90 percent of rape victims are women. Those who are college students are about 3 times more likely to be raped than women in general.
Women are most likely to be raped between the ages of 16 and 19. 70 percent of rapes are committed by someone the victim personally knows.
If those statistics are not scary enough, then consider this: 2 out of every 3 rapes are never reported to law enforcement because the victim fears that they will suffer from retaliation or they will not be believed, and out of every thousand rapes, 994 of the perpetrators will walk free.
The cost of rape kit testing ranges from 400 to 1,500 dollars, despite the fact that the Violence Against Women Act stated that survivors should never pay for their own rape kits.
Many women who report rapes are not believed or even worse, they are blamed for being raped. Their perpetrators are usually not prosecuted, and if they are, it tends to be a very light sentence. This is never excusable.
Issues Women Face Today 1) Women are More Likely to Be Victims of Domestic Violence
It is said that 1 in 4 American women are victims of domestic violence. The United Nations Population Fund estimated that 1 in 3 women worldwide experience some form of abuse over the course of her lifetime. 85 percent of domestic violence victims are women, and 15 percent are men.
Domestic violence is outlawed in many countries in the West, but there are many countries throughout the world which find violence against women excusable, even to the extent of allowing men to “physically discipline” their wives.
Some societies find it acceptable to beat a woman if she refuses to have sex, goes out without telling her husband (or without her husband), argues with him, or even is simply thought to possibly be having an affair. This violence against women is unjustifiable.
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