Being a woman in America is not for the faint of heart: We're still dealing with attacks on our reproductive rights, the wage gap, street harassment and to top it all off, misogynistic garbage on (and off) the Internet. And that's just a taste of it.
A working group for the United Nations confirmed that being a woman in the U.S. is far from easy, and although we've come a long way, there's a (very) long road ahead. Last week, the group released a report, which detailed several aspects of how women are still actively discriminated against in America.
"In 2010 and 2015, in the framework of its Universal Periodic Review, the US government committed to ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All of Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) but this commitment has not yet been implemented," the report said. "Resistance to ratification of CEDAW reflects the opposition of a powerful sector of society to the Convention’s formulation of women’s international human right to equality."
"The US is one of only seven countries which have not ratified CEDAW," according to the report.
There's more: According to the report, "The gender wage gap is 21%, affecting women’s income throughout their lives, increasing women’s pension poverty...Women’s earnings differ considerably by ethnicity: Afro-American, Native American and Hispanic women have the lowest earnings."
The report also addresses how a lack of universal healthcare disproportionately affects women, especially poor women, women of color and immigrants. "According to the information we received, a third of the people living in poverty are still uninsured, affecting primarily women, in particular Afro-American and Hispanic women, preventing them from accessing basic preventive care and treatments," the report said. "Furthermore, there are restrictions for immigrants, including immigrant women to access Medicaid during a five year waiting period and there is perpetual exclusion of undocumented migrants from any health care with the limited exception of emergency care.
Access to reproductive care, which is guaranteed by Roe v. Wade -- but gradually eroding in states like Texas -- was also included in the report. "Women's access to reproductive health services has been truncated in some states by imposition of severe barriers," the report said. These take the form of unjustified medical procedures, such as compelling women to undergo ultrasounds or to endure groundless waiting periods, withholding of early pregnancy abortion medications, imposing burdensome conditions for the licensing of clinics, which have resulted in the closing of clinics across the country leaving women without geographical access to sexual and reproductive health services."
"The United States, which is a leading state in formulating international human rights standards, is allowing its women to lag behind international human rights standards, the report concluded. "Although there is a wide diversity in state law and practice, which makes it impossible to give a comprehensive report, we could discern an overall picture of women’s missing rights. While all women are the victims of these missing rights, women who are poor, belong to Native American, Afro-American and Hispanic ethnic minorities, migrant women, LBTQ women, women with disabilities and older women are disparately vulnerable."
You can read the full report here.