A woman earned 79 cents for every dollar a man made in 2019, according to data from Payscale.

An Asian woman earned 93 cents for every dollar earned by a white man. An African-American woman earned 74 cents for every dollar earned by a white man. 

Ah, the gender wage gap. The decades-old question: is it real? There are two answers, but only one is right: Yes—it is real. (Too real, some would say. And, by some, I mean women.) Disturbingly, according to a 2019 survey of adults by SurveyMonkey, 46 percent of men and 30 percent of women believe that the wage gap has been “made up to serve a political purpose” and is not a “legitimate issue.”

It is confusing that the existence of the wage gap is something to be questioned. Putting aside partisan politics, there is hard evidence from reliable sources corroborating that the wage gap is, in fact, real: The U.S. Census Bureau says the wage gap is real; Forbes Magazine says the wage gap is real; USA Today, NBC, and Business Insider say the wage gap is real. 

As a female, it is disconcerting that the wage gap is discussed as if it is a conspiracy theory. I am disappointed that it has taken on a partisan bent, dividing the right and the left, women and men. Unfortunately for women, the only way this issue can be adequately – and finally – addressed is to transcend partisan politics and see it for what it truly is: basic inequality. 

The Pew Research Center has studied the issue and determined that for a woman to earn what a man earned in 2018, she must work an extra 39 days. How can that be rationalized? Worse yet, the World Economic Forum (WEF) declared that the global gender wage gap will take 202 years to close. The WEF also reported that the United States ranks number 53 out of 153 countries regarding gender equality. Number 53? As a democratic nation and world leader, are we okay with that?

The wage gap can no longer be a partisan issue; otherwise, we will never reach gender parity. Whether you are Republican, Democrat, female, male – it just does not matter. The facts do not lie: the wage gap is real. 

Photo Credit: Ex-pat No More on WordPress

Written by

Grace Funk

Grace Funk, junior, is honored to serve as Editor-in-Chief for The OLu MUSE this year. In addition to the MUSE, Grace is a member of OLu’s Ambassador team where she enjoys sharing about her school with the community. She loves writing across genres, from poetry to prose to nonfiction. In her free time, Grace loves to read, watch football (or binge watch Netflix series in the offseason), and travel with her family. Her favorite books include the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness and her favorite fictional character from any book is Elizabeth Bennet.