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Why Do Women Still Earn Less?

Did you know that in the United States, women earn only 75.5cents for every dollar that men earn? If you are passionate about women’s empowerment, you probably already knew this. Now, if the situation is that bad in the United States, the land of opportunity, you can imagine how much worse the situation is in other countries, particularly 3rd world countries.

I have always been fascinated by the issue of women’s economic empowerment more than anything else. I would give anything (well, almost anything) to see women all over the world having equal access to and control over resources. In my quest to find more information on how this can be achieved, I have come across many books which have attempted to explain the gender pay gap. However, none was as fascinating as the book titled “Why Men Earn More by Warren Farrell, Ph.D.

The book’s author attempts to “explain” (I’m temped to use the word “justify”) why the gender pay gap exists. Apparently the top 5 reasons why women earn less are:

• Women often choose fields that don’t pay much e.g. Arts and Social Sciences as opposed to Technology and Hard Sciences. It appears that, women seem to think that they can they can “follow their bliss” and still earn a lot of money.
• Women want to obtain hazard pay without the hazards. This is one that I have a really hard time with. Apparently, at the time Dr. Farrell wrote his book, no woman had died in the Marines or Air Force in the war in Iraq?
• Women don’t want to do the time. The book states that men tend to work 13% more than women and therefore they should expect 44% more pay. I may not have been very good at Math, but I know 13% doesn’t equal 44%. In addition, Dr. Farrell states that men have more uninterrupted work experience. Women have a harder time sticking to one employer especially because of their traditional roles e.g. having and raising children.
• Women aren’t very willing to travel or relocate to “undesirable locations.” As far as this is concerned, Dr. Farrell points out that only 16% of “frequent flyers” are women.
• Women and men approach work very differently and that’s why, on average, female-owned businesses only make 47% of what male owned businesses earn. Women often prioritize autonomy, flexibility, fulfillment and safety over money. On the other hand, male business owners work 29% more than female business owners, have more employees and commute 47% farther because their main motivating factor is the money.

At some point, the book states that never-married women, aged between 40 and 64, who are college-educated and never had children earn $7,000 more per year when compared to their male counterparts who are in the same situation. Does this mean that our sex roles (not gender roles) or biological roles are leading us, women, to make decisions that will only cause us to earn less in the long run? If you choose to have children and you want your children to be well-balanced (whatever that means), should you forget about equal pay? I want to hear your views.


zoneziwoh's picture

asante sana

This book by Dr Farrel is very funny. I love the way you reacted to the quote on women not taking harder jobs but want pays equivilent to harder job. indeed , may be by the time of that book - the issue of Iraq, etc werent in the pic. For benefir of doubt, plz, lets know what year he wrote/published this book

again, i bet to differ with the point of women 13% and 44%...what Farrel failed to see is the fact that women's domestic chores are not price tag. if it is price tag, i think women will earn more than men. and that is the mistake most scientist / people when it comes to wages between men and women.

on the last part of unmarried women earning 7000 USD more than their men doesnt make sense still to me. in fact, Farrel has tried his best in projecting why men earn more than women..etc. there are some points I do agree with him for instance, the academic part where women's choice of discipline more often influences their wages --but again, it still comes back to societal belief where women(girl children) were sent to colleges which will teach them how to becoming better wives and boy children who went to biys school were taught leadership skills and develoment issues. imagine these, is it obvious that the women will be more oriented twoards jobs that matches her skills...etc

thanks--this is a beautiful article

sawa asante!!

Stay Blessed



Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

Stash's picture

Nonsense on stilts!

The good doctor's observations are some of the most absurd I've ever heard, and thanks for bringing this up Grace. I was at Highway Africa recently, and one male presenter did ask a pertinent question why women are not found in information technology. He highlighted a number of great inventors among which were: Bill Gates, the now late Steve Jobs (bless his soul) and Mark Zuckerberg - all "young white males, Harvard or such like graduates with a geeky nature and loners who had sufficient time to experiment and less pre-occupation with worldy things" You can imagine that the inference was that women are too preoccupied with the things of the world; what is to an extent being said her. Unless this is proved scientifically, I certainly will not accept stereotypes and thank God I dont have to subscribe to those narrow beliefs. I know I earn more than a lot of my male colleagues, so thats a starting point.

Hummingbird's picture


I think you read a book entitled: how we convince women that they are not as good as men in work...
I do not believe that this study is precise or true. men do not work more time than women, on the contrary from what I see in my work women usually work harder to prove themselves. I believe women are more skilled in using internet and social networks compared to men, I taught my husband how to use Facebook. I do not believe that businesses prefer to employ people moved a lot between jobs because many HR officers ask the candidates why did they change jobs? such person is not trusted by many companies.

I do not know what do the writer means about women do not want the hazards, like a bomb would miss women and only take men? he wants female soldiers in Iraq to get killed to prove that they are in danger? this is ridicules.

I believe this matter is not justified at all. In my opinion it is a matter of prejudice to women and underestimation.

Moreover, I think employees and labors have rights, they are not machines wether women or men.

A drop of rain can revive the earth, be the drop.


Titilope's picture


I gave a deep sigh after reading your post , because it is very reavealing and engaging. While some of the findings could be true, some are not true. But I am really particular about the preference of women for autonomy, flexibility, fulfillment and safety over money. This is actually a virtue rather than a disadvantage because if not for this the whole world would be upside down by now. If this is one of the reasons why we earn less so be it!
It is the greed of men for money that has created the various challenges in the world today.
Women have demonstrated that they have value for human life and that building cohesion and peaceful homes is very important than money. Money cannot buy this virtue and this is what keeps the world going.
I think i need to write another post to give a comprehensive insight and review to this important post.

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