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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Equal pay in Boston: Bridging the gender wage gap

Boston’s legacy is steeped in inclusivity and progressiveness, from its pivotal role in the American Revolution to its stance as a free state prior to the American Civil War. However, despite this rich history, Boston still deals with significant challenges, including the gender wage gap.

Unequal pay between men and women has long been an issue in our economic society. This injustice has driven many women, including the renowned Susan B. Anthony, to advocate for change. Anthony, a Boston native, is best known for her important role in the women’s suffrage movement. Her journey into activism was triggered not by voting rights, but by the concerning pay discrepancy she experienced as a teacher in 1846.

As headmistress of her school, Anthony was disheartened to discover that her male counterparts earned significantly more than she did. Despite her leadership position, she earned only a fraction of their salary—$2.50 a month, compared to their $10, according to the National Susan B. Anthony Museum. [1] This injustice fueled her determination to fight for gender equality throughout her impactful career.

While Anthony’s efforts have undoubtedly brought progress, there is still much ground to cover. In 2024, Massachusetts lags behind in closing the gender wage gap, with data from the government’s census website revealing an average annual disparity of $13,217 between men and women. This gap widens even further in certain professions, such as managerial roles. This translates to a monthly wage difference of approximately $1,000 for individuals in similar positions—a significant gap that cannot be ignored. [2] Achieving true equality requires acknowledging the dangerous impact of these numbers.

Despite Boston’s reputation as a progressive hub, these alarming statistics underscore the work that still needs to be done. There is no justification for such discrepancies in pay for equal work. Paying women less than men based solely on gender is not only unethical, but also detrimental to societal progress—a sentiment strongly supported by Anthony over 150 years ago. Our fight for equality transcends gender; it is essential for the advancement of humanity as a whole.

To raise awareness for this issue, there is “Equal Pay Day” which took place this year on Tuesday, March 12. The reason this date is chosen is to highlight how much extra time women need to catch up to what men earn in the previous year. This date shows that it takes an additional three months to earn what men did, which is honestly repulsive—it takes women a year and three months to make what men make in one year. The reason it’s always on a Tuesday is to highlight that women need seven business days to make what a man makes in the normal five-day business week. [2]

This holiday, as well as the work done by Anthony and other suffragettes, highlight just how big of a negative impact this issue has. Women comprise half of the world’s population and contribute immeasurably to its progress. Yet, they have long been marginalized and denied equal opportunities. It is time to break this cycle of inequality and ensure that women are afforded the rights and recognition they deserve.

Susan B. Anthony laid the groundwork for gender equality, but her work remains unfinished. It is up to us and future generations to carry forth her legacy and continue the pursuit of equality. Our collective empowerment as women depends on it.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, let us honor the pioneers and activists who have paved the way for progress. Their sacrifices and resilience have shaped our journey, and their legacy inspires us to strive for a more equitable future. Together, we can build upon their legacy and empower generations to come!

 

SOURCES:

[1] https://susanb.org/educational-reformer/

[2] https://www.census.gov/newsroom/stories/equal-pay-day.html

About the Contributor
Mercy Moncada, Opinions Writer