The feminist movement has made gigantic strides over the years—but nearly a century since women were given the right to vote, the sad fact of the matter is: We've still got a lot of work to do. Somehow, "feminism" remains a controversial word, even though the definition of feminism is impossible to argue with—an effort to make sure every woman and every individual has rights equal to that of a cis white man, no matter their race, religion, gender identification, sexual preference, or anything else.
Sounds like a commonsense cause, right? Well, in spite of a monopoly of data proving that women are not equal to men in America, many people disagree with the premise of feminism—arguing that women already are equal to men, or that their gains haven't matched men's because they haven't worked hard enough, or that women and men are inherently and biologically different and cannot be compared. Others agree that women's rights are a noble cause, but that men's rights aren't given the same consideration.
In actuality, most feminists consider men also at a disservice because of the inequality between men and women. When we socialize men to not show sadness and fear, to provide financially and not emotionally, and to not seek mental health help, for example, we contribute to a culture that leaves both men and women at a disadvantage. At the same time, men, particularly cis white men, are statistically at an advantage when it comes to earning power, career progression, and a multitude of other factors. Feminism boils down to the hard work that both men and women have to do to level the playing field.
Here, the shocking ways women aren't yet equal to men in America.
1. Women pay more for common household items than men do.
Shampoo, deodorant—even a 10-pack of socks—are among the many products that cost more for women, according to an analysis by Marie Claire.
2. Women make 16 percent less money than their male counterparts.
Although the pay gap is narrowing, women in the U.S. working full- and part-time make 84 percent of what their male counterparts earn, according to the Pew Research Center. In other words, women need to work an extra 40 days a year to make as much as men. It's an even grimmer picture overseas: Women worldwide make 77 percent the amount paid to men, according to a report from the United Nation's International Labor Organization.
3. And for black and Hispanic women, the rates are even worse.
Black women have to work 19 months to make what white men did in a year, according to the National Women's Law Center. That number is even worse for Hispanic women, the center found.
4. Women are underrepresented in government.
Although women make up nearly 51 percent of the U.S. population, only 20 percent of the U.S. Congress is comprised of women, which—fortunately or unfortunately—makes the current Congress one of the most diverse in American history, according to The Washington Post. Worldwide, just 22 percent of all national parliamentarians were female as of January 2015, according to the U.N.
5. Women are the minority in the executive suite.
At Fortune 500 companies, they account for 17 percent of boards members, 15 percent of C-suite executives and 5 percent of CEOs, according to Business Insider. There is, however, some good news. A USA Today analysis this year found that 21 of the 22 current female chief executives in the Standard & Poor's 500 index—which includes Yahoo, defense contractor Lockheed Martin and TJX, the company that owns retailers like T.J. Maxx and Marshalls—earned an average of $18.8 million compared with male CEOs' average salary of $12.7 million. Never mind that there are 455 male CEOs in the S&P 500.
6. Women are also the minority in the news media.
Women are on camera 32 percent percent of the time, according to the Women's Media Center's annual report The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2015. They report 37 percent of the stories in print, and on the internet, they write 42 percent of the news.
7. And they're the minority in the booming tech sector, too.
Women on average comprise about 30 percent of the workforce at the world's largest tech companies, including Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook, according to their own diversity reports.
8. Women still shoulder more of the household burden.
According to the U.S. government's National Time Use Survey, working moms are more likely to be saddled with childcare duties than working fathers, even if both spouses work equal hours outside the house. They're also more likely to get the burden of doing chores around the house, even if they're not stay-at-home moms.
9. Women are far more likely to be the victims of human trafficking.
More than 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, according to a report in the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology. And a whopping 80 percent of them are women and girls, mostly taken from their homes to be forced into prostitution abroad.
10. Female soldiers face rape and harassment.
Between one-fifth and one-half of female veterans were sexually harassed while on active duty, and women are more likely to leave with PTSD from rape than from actual fighting, according to a 2013 Pentagon report.
11. Women overall are at a greater risk of rape and domestic violence.
In fact, women between the ages of 15 and 44 are at a greater risk of experiencing rape or domestic violence than cancer, car accidents, war or malaria, according to the World Bank. And as much as 70 percent of women worldwide experience violence during their life, the U.N. said.
12. Young women experience inequality in high school sports.
Despite the passage in 1972 of Title IX, which called for gender equality in schools, nearly 4,500 public high schools in the U.S.—about 28 percent of the nation's public schools—have "larger gender inequality in sports," reported The Atlantic, which cited data from the National Women's Law Center.
13. Retired women are twice as likely as retired men to live in poverty.
Eleven percent of women age 65 and older live below the poverty line compared with 6.6% of men, according to CNNMoney. And women of retirement age rely on a median income of about $16,000 a year, which is around $11,000 than men of the same age.
14. Women of all ages are, in fact, more likely than men to live below the poverty line.
Across the U.S., 15.5% of women live in poverty compared with 11.9 percent of men, according to a report from the Institute for Women's Policy Research. That number worsens for black, Hispanic and Native American women. Worldwide, the majority of the more than 1 billion people living in poverty are women, according to the U.N.