Gender Inequality Will Persist despite Ivanka Trump's Initiative

Examiner (Washington, D.C.), The, February 8, 2018 | Go to article overview

Gender Inequality Will Persist despite Ivanka Trump's Initiative


Unless you live under a rock, you know there are those among us who think America should emulate Scandinavian countries. Apparently, Ivanka Trump is one of them.

Those who champion family leave, equal pay for women and affordable childcare believe that if women had financial support from the government, the way women do in other countries, America could finally move toward gender equality.

But a new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research puts that argument in the trash, where it belongs.

"Despite considerable gender convergence over time," note the study's authors, "substantial gender inequality persists in all countries. Using Danish administrative data from 1980-2013 and an event study approach, we show that most of the remaining gender inequality in earnings is due to children."

Those darn kids ruin everything. At least that's the takeaway at Slate. "Children are career killers for women," it says. And tradition, notes Jordan Weissmann, is "hard to budge."

Ironically, Weissmann laments that America is "woefully behind on parental leave and child care policy" but simultaneously, though perhaps begrudgingly, concedes "there's only so much public policy can do."

It doesn't matter what kind of policies America adopts, just as it doesn't matter which policies the Swedes adopt. Women all over the world continue to put children ahead of career -- which means gender equality, as feminists define it, is a futile goal. …

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