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The Gender Wage Gap and Family Relations / By Natasha Chaiyarat


There have been many advances towards equality in multiple areas of American society. However, the difference between the paychecks of males and females is still significant. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, in 2015, female full-time workers made only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, a gender wage gap of 20 percent.

The pay gap affects many people including the families of the working class and teenagers. Briana Barner, a PhD student majoring in Media Studies, says that “family relations can be compromised due to the pay gap.” Essentially, the husband receives a higher salary than the wife, which could lead to the notion that women are inferior and dependent on men’s salaries.

The magnitude of the pay gap is most obvious among women of color. For example, in 2014, only 35 percent of black women and 26 percent of Hispanic women were employed in higher-paying management, professional, and related jobs—compared with 48 percent of Asian women and 43 percent of white women according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. With 66% of Black and 42% of Hispanic children living in single-parent homes (Annie E Casey Foundation, 2016), this may make it harder for these minorities to thrive economically. One of the ways to potentially reduce the pay gap and its effects is by becoming better informed. Sandra Koehler, a history teacher at Lincoln Park High School believes that “financial literacy is important to people of all ages.” With enough knowledge of finance, it allows for more appropriate decision making leading to a better lifestyle.


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