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The Reality of the 51% Minority
By Roshan Tolani

Legal analyst and law professor Lis Wiehl has written a book entitled “The 51% Minority: How Women Still Are Not Equal and What You Can Do About It.”
Wiehl’s book serves as a crude reminder about women’s suffering and a call for women to acknowledge discrimination, learn legal rights, and seek equality.
Wiehl was motivated to write this book after she became a victim of gender discrimination a couple of years ago.  As a law professor at the University of Washington, Wiehl’s junior male colleague earned a salary that was $5,000 more than her annual salary even though he taught fewer students.  When Wiehl noted his salary disparity to the dean, he did nothing to help.  Refusing to accept defeat, Wiehl studied employment rights, made her case to the college provost, and obtained a raise. 
However, she was shocked after being admonished and asked to keep her raise confidential.
It was a revelation for Wiehl.  Today, at the top of her career, Wiehl concedes that the journey has not been easy.  Along the way, she suffered through social discrimination and fewer job opportunities.  Wiehl has also realized that she is not alone; 51% of our population suffers similarly without any recourse.
Wiehl’s book provides data that challenges the claims of gender equality.  Frankly, it’s a shame that, even with today’s societal consciousness, women in the most developed country earn just 73 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterpart.  While female graduates earn $42,000 annually, their male counterparts earn a $77,000 annual salary.
For every ten men in executive positions, there is only one female in that role.  Federal courts continue to be packed with male judges even though women receive more than half of all law degrees.
It is not only economic and professional disparities that hamper women; social and legal discrimination are equally upsetting.  In some regions, pregnancy is still labeled as a disability, and domestic violence is still the single biggest threat of injury to women.  How can these countries claim to be developed when they are so limited?
How can we justify the media’s attitude towards females, especially if it refuses see beyond the image of a young, hot woman?  To critics, whoever calls for female equality is a feminist.  Society fails to give due credit to successful women, and all the while, powerful men continue to command respect.
No wonder the book has received rave reviews.  From being labeled as a “Woman’s Survival Manual,” to a great “Easy-to-Read” guide for women, the book surely has ruffled many a feather.


Posted on: 03/16/2007 10:37 AM | Number of feedback 1


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