Condition of women in US seeks improvement to achieve SDG-5 targets
The top-down approach of issuing policy reviews can be done away and replaced by a more vibrant mechanism of letting feed backs ascend to the authorities.
An economy of 19 trillion dollars and still counting, world’s most powerful nation, the United States too has issues. Recently a perception poll by Thomson Reuters Foundation puts the US as the tenth most dangerous country in the world for women.
As per the latest data records, 50.6 percent of the US population is women. The US thus becomes one of the rarest nations where men are outnumbered by women. But do they hold any key to change or they just have been maneuvered by the patriarchal section of society?
Looking into the present political scenario in the country, the oldest democracy of the World presents a gloomy picture as far as women’s representation in the US Congress is concerned.
In the house of representatives, women hold just 83 seats which merely accounts for 19 percent of 435 berths. In the 100 seater US Senate, 22 of them are only occupied by women.
The American women got voting rights in 1920 itself but no women could reach the oval office in Presiden's capacity till date. That too comes when they are more in number in comparison to men.
On one hand, we have Hillary Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, Taylor Swift keeping women’s stature high not only in their nation but across the world. On the other hand, innumerable of them are compelled to protest on the streets of New York and Washington for the cause of women safety.
In 2017 through #MeToo movement, the women in the US raised their voices against all sorts of ill behaviors inflicted upon them by the society.
#MeToo movement inflicted global outrage. It was a sad state for men around the world. It was a question about consent and intentions. In some cases, the protagonist may have unknowingly harassed by trying to be witty and funny.
Global outrage about sexual harassment spurred by #MeToo & other movements has challenged impunity. At @UN_Women meeting ENs @WaweruEstherW spoke of need for appropriate follow-up mechanisms & transparent investigations by independent investigators#UN https://t.co/luHwwtEwP2— equalitynow (@equalitynow) August 4, 2018
Data reveals that almost 77 percent of US women face verbal assault which some of the times culminates into sexual assault and as many as 27 percent of women fall prey to this. Then this causes depression, anxiety and many more resulting in sheer loss of health and wellbeing of a huge part of society.
As per the data from International Labour Organisation, the participation of females above 15 years in the American workforce has remained stagnant at 56 percent since 1990.
According to a poll conducted by a news agency in 2017, at least half the number of working women became subject to unwanted sexual advances on the job.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is the US Federal agency which looks after civil rights at the workplace. Its role is to fairly investigate the discriminations against any particular employee. Such federal agencies and government have tried to cope up this problem via constitutional provision like ‘Civil Rights Act of 1964’ which mandates against any discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex or national origin.
Equal Pay Act aims to abolish any disparity among wages of employees based on sex, i.e. Gender Pay gap. Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1964 outlaws any discrimination based on pregnancy, sex, childbirth or related health problems.
‘Achieving gender equality and empowering all and girls’ is Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 5 with the targets to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere and eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
Participatory monitoring of SDGs being done by Devdiscourse aims at generating the data needed to bridge the information gaps and achieve the evidence base needed for robust implementation of the SDGs. As part of such monitoring, data is being collected as feedback from volunteers across the world online and through an android app on various aspects including the feedback on gender-related aspects.
Team Devdiscourse has received feedback notes from the US regarding gender equality and sexual harassment with the majority of them still seeking betterment in women’s condition. One of the feedbacks even went on to call the condition deteriorating to a certain extent while others finding it stagnant with no pragmatic improvement.
Albeit the US, being a society with all qualities of the developed world has always needed to work on the conditions of its women. The feedback paves the way to revisit the condition of women in the US. The top-down approach of issuing policy reviews can be done away and replaced by a more vibrant mechanism of letting feedbacks ascend to the authorities through the common masses. Striving for betterment should be a nation’s identity.