It’s coming. Yay. Yippee. Break out that bottle of cleanskin wine you’ve hidden behind the dishwashing detergent.
We have a date — a year, even — for when the gender pay gap will be closed. When men and women will be paid the same for the same job.
…Jokes. (Amy Schumer should put that in her stand up routine.)
It’s 2186. 170 years away. Even better news, according to the Global Gender Gap Report from the World Economic Forum (that measures gender parity in four areas including economic opportunity, education, political empowerment and health and survival) the time frame to close this gap is growing not shrinking. It’s increased by 63 years from the estimate given last year.
We are going BACKWARDS.
If I sound heartless and glib, I don’t mean to. It’s so utterly depressing that I will never — and my three daughters will never, and all the women of the world in this generation and the next six generations will never — have the same access to jobs as males and will not be paid what is just, right, and fair for the work they do.
The report found globally women are earning just over a half (59 per cent) of what men earn despite working longer hours. This is a global earning disparity. The gender pay gap in Australia is different. According to the Australian Council of Trade Unions women are paid on average 20 per cent less than men. The recruitment firm Glassdoor found earlier this year that Australian women earn 83 cents to every $1 a man earns.
Equality for that thing we only do five days a week, 48 weeks a year, sacrifice so much for is a long way away. Will we even exist then? Will we even still have banana bread? What about cars? Houses? Societies?
Let’s not even talk about that. Let’s find some light. Let’s imagine this Utopia called 2187 where the gender pay gap has closed. Where we stand shoulder to shoulder with men.
What will women’s lives look like?
- When they walk home at night they will sing and look up at the night sky and admire the stars (no more keys in hands as weapons, no more fear of being raped simply because you are 1. a woman and 2. outside).
- Childcare workers and teachers and nurses will be paid the same as bankers and 22-year-old fund managers who holiday every January in Whistler Canada.
- Men will take paternity leave without a second thought.
- Women are never hit, kicked or dragged through the house by their hair by the man who says he loves them more than anyone else. Money is not hidden from them or used as a weapon against them by the man who says he loves them more than anyone else. They are not called sluts or cheap or stupid or humiliated time and time again by the man who says he loves them more than anyone else.
- At after work drinks on floating stools, where you can just send your hologram if you feel lazy and really want to go home, women don’t even make jokes about the number of CEO’s called John compared to the entire number of female CEOs in Australia. They do make jokes about freshly shaved whiskers on the rim of the bathroom sink though. That’s still happening.
- Everyone will say things like “I hear they used to once have this social media thingy called Twitter and women were often called sluts and whores for writing something on it. I’ll never understand the olden days”.
- Women of all shapes and sizes will walk the streets and not be judged for how they look. Some of them might even be funny and teens will say to each other, “No offence … but men just aren’t funny. You see, it’s not natural for them to be funny.”
- Media organisations will have to preface every story they do on cricket or AFL or soccer with what gender they are talking about because both the male and female teams get equal coverage.
- Young girls aren’t inundated by images of “sexy” women and don’t feel inadequate for not having a thigh gap, or a flat stomach, or the right amount of body hair, or the right hair, or the perfect outfit. They are happy and fulfilled – most of the time.
- A woman won’t be called a bitch or difficult for stating her opinion or sticking up for herself. She might even get a promotion.
- No one has used the phrase “women shouldn’t have control over their own bodies” for 51 years.
- Anxiety and depression in women has reduced so much the mental health sector is contracting.
- US Presidential candidates will be able to spell conscience.
Ohhhh 2186, you look good.
It’s a shame, though, we’re all going to be dead.