Susan B. Anthony brought the women’s suffrage movement to the United States and fought for the equality of women in America. She succeeded in many ways, but women were still a disenfranchised group. It wasn’t until 1920, 14 years after Susan B. Anthony’s death, that women earned the right to vote across the United States.
Now, over 90 years later, it would seem logical that women have achieved the same success as men. After all, universities across the country are filled with women ready to join the ranks of men and run companies as well as the government. According to Cal State San Marcos fall 2010 enrollment, women made up 62 percent of the student body, and Cal State San Bernardino boasts a 64 percent female population in its 2011-2012 data.
Why hasn’t the face of our nation changed with those encouraging statistics? In 2011, only 12 women were CEO’s in the top 500 companies that gross the most in the U.S., also known as the Fortune 500. Sadly, that stat was down from 2010, when there were 15 women included in that group.
When it comes to wealth in America, only two women broke the top 20 richest Americans, according to Forbes, and both are decedents of Sam Walton, the owner of Walmart.
In political circles, things haven’t improved much either. Women only represent 17 percent of the seats in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives.
If women don’t start getting involved in politics, there may be dire consequences. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), who represents Lake Elsinore and Wildomar, held a congressional hearing on contraception and refused to allow women to be on the panel that reported to the committee.
Locally, we have lopsided representation in politics as well. Currently, both the mayors and mayors pro tem of Wildomar and Lake Elsinore are men. Out of the 10 city council members in Wildomar and Lake Elsinore, only three are women.
Some might argue that women aren’t as motivated to work because they are the caregivers of the family, but that is not the case.
“The poverty rate among women climbed to 14.5 percent in 2010 from 13.9 percent in 2009, the highest in 17 years,” according to the National Women’s Law Center.
This is not a sign that women don’t want to work. The National Women’s Law Center also found that, “The typical white, non-Hispanic woman who worked full-time, year-round in 2010 made only 77.6 cents compared to her male counterpart.”
Now that we’re aware of the problem what do we do as a community? And if we do, will it make a difference to our community?