Ziqiao Wang | 2 min read
Women's rights haven't been a topic for nearly half a century. The debate restarted when the Democratic Party proposed the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would force companies to publicly report their employees' earnings, thus bringing equality among gender line. There are three reasons the government should not pass a wage-regulation bill.
First, the gender wage gap is not a significant social problem; I am even inclined to say it is not a problem at all. Since the passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, the treatment of female workers has improved remarkably. In 2010, women earned 77% of what men earned. This is a great progress compared to the same data in 1967: 58%. This comparison shows that both the government and the American society are dedicated to protecting women’s rights and the number will steadily increase as America improves its welfare system. According to the World Gender Inequality Index, gender equality is best reached in the Northern and Western European countries, while most African and Middle Eastern countries discriminate against women. Unsurprisingly, the Gender Inequality Index shows the same pattern shown by the Human Development Index. Gender dispute has been settled in most developed countries while still being one of the top social problems in developing countries. I believe the gender wage gap will eventually diminish as America becomes more developed. Instead of focusing on gender issues, the general public should resolve the intense racial discrimination in America.
Second, it would be very difficult to actually regulate the wages; furthermore, the act could cause many unnecessary lawsuits. Not only would it be nearly impossible to collect the data about wages across gender line in every single company in America, the act would also add unnecessary work for the federal government. Numerous amounts of people and great effort are required to complete the job. Also, it is totally impossible for the wages of men and women to be exactly the same. If the wages of women surpass that of men, some “experts” would argue that men are being discriminated upon. Since the data can never be accurate, I even doubt the data that women earn 23% less than men do. If the bill were really passed, so many people would feel being discriminated against and sue the “evil capitalists,” who suppress and exploit them. So, instead of solving gender inequality, the bill would cause even more problems.
Finally, even if there is a gender inequality in wages, the issue should be dealt with independently by individuals rather than by having the federal government establish a legislation to regulate. If some women are not content with their wages, they should talk to their employers individually. This is the best way to solve this “problem.” If certain employers refuse to acknowledge women’s rights, the women can address the issue to a women’s organization or lab union. They can even take further steps to sue the employers if necessary. This individuality can make the cases more specific and can cater to personal need.
Gender wage gap is such an unnecessary and pointless issue for the government to discuss. There are far more important issues, e.g. racial discrimination and national security. The Democratic Party should do what really benefits people instead of focusing on such pointless issues as a gender wage gap to gain electoral advantage over their rivals.