Who Are Americans? Interactive Exercises

Have Women Achieved Equal Rights?

Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act prohibits gender discrimination, and the Supreme Court has consistently upheld the principle that women should have the same rights as men. Since 1960, the United States has made great strides toward gender equality in some areas, but as the data show, it still has a long way to go in other areas.


What was the percentage of college students were women in 1960? In 1980? In 2010? In what year did women become a majority of all college students?


2. What percentage of members of Congress in 1990 were men? In 2010?
What percentage of those serving in state legislatures in 1980 were women? In 2010?


In what occupational field were the weekly earnings of men and women most similar? How close were the earning levels? In what occupational field were the weekly earnings of men and women in similar jobs furthest apart? What was the difference in the earning levels?
How much do each of these factors—education, political officeholders, and income—say about gender equality in the United States?

What factors do you think contribute to the differences between men and women in terms of education, politics, and income?
7. The World Economic Forum compare gender equality in countries around the world.

Scroll down to page 2 of the report. Where did the United States rank internationally in 2011? Does this ranking surprise you? Why or why not?
8. Now look at the country profile for the United States at http://www3.weforum.org/docs/GGGR11/UnitedStates.pdf

What elements go into the ranking decision? In what areas does the United States perform well? In what areas was it evaluated less favorably?
For one of the areas where the United States was evaluated less favorably in the country profile above, create a brief policy that would address that area by promoting equal outcomes and another policy that would address that same area by promoting equal opportunity. Which policy do you think more Americans would support? Why?

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