By DALIA SALLOUM, Staf Writer
About 94 years ago, women gained the right to vote. And before that, women who had a reputation to fight for their rights and make a name for themselves as political and social activists were recognized with nothing more than scrutiny. We have graduated from the days where women are treated unjustly, and the separation of gender roles is almost gone, but not completely.
On Thursday, April 10, the University of Michigan- Dearborn will be hosting and recognizing Equal Pay Awareness Week to bring awareness that the wage gap between men and women in the work force still exists. Although many people believe that equality has finally been reached, statistics show that men still make a little more than women do, with no explanation other than the fact that they are men.
“Most college students go to school, get their degree and think that they are going to make top dollar. As women, we don’t,” said Tina Nelson, one of the founders of the AAUW Student Organization. “As a matter of fact, the national wage statistics show women nationally make 77 cents to every dollar a man makes. In Michigan, the statistics are 74 cents to the dollar. This week is about awareness and AAUW has a long history of getting this message out.”
Currently, it has become quite the norm to see single mothers getting/completing their education to provide for their children. The majority of women these days are breadwinners, even if they are married. They have taken initiative in terms of the workforce and have earned their positions as strong and reliable workers no matter what the position is that they hold.
Over the past decade, the wage gap has narrowed. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it has closed definitely. The discussion held during this event will focus on the challenges faced by women, and their successes in the aftermath, accompanied by advice that they may offer women who will follow suit.
Panelists will include Debbie Dingell, Janet Watkins, Dr. Sally Barnett, and Professor Susan Bergeron, all of whom have worked with the AAUW throughout the state and in Dearborn or studied Women’s and Gender Studies to reach the conclusions they will discuss on panel.
“It demonstrates women overcoming obstacles and handling “power-play” positions. We tried to select a diverse group of women that represent the various aspects of economic success within a dynamic “male-dominated” environment,” said Nelson, commenting on the influence that panelists will have on the audience.
The chain events that will take place at UM-Dearborn, starting on April 7, will mark the first time the AAUW would be holding a weeklong recognition of the events. However, this isn’t the first panel they have held to recognize Equal Pay Awareness. The event on April 10 will take place in Fairlane Center North, in room 110, from 4-6 pm. Welcome remarks will be provided by Stanley E. Henderson, Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management and Student Life.