Hopefully other county governments are watching:
Members of the Wake County Board of Commissioners on Monday said they want to find a way that the government and community can help ensure that women achieve the same academic and professional success as their male counterparts. Their comments came after hearing a report that the income gap in Wake County is worse than the national average.
Wake women on average earn 69 percent of what men make, according to Jackie Terry Hughes, an attorney who helped author the report presented to commissioners. Nationally, women earn 79 percent of what men make.
Just a historical note: The Equal Rights Amendment was originally crafted back in 1923, but it finally made its way out of Congress in 1972. It fell just three states short of ratification (35 ratified, needed 38), and of course North Carolina was one of the holdouts. Opponents who didn't want people to see their misogynistic underwear have always claimed the ERA was not necessary, that society would solve the problem by itself without Constitutional force. But here we are in 2016, and the pay gap is still there, forcing women to struggle when their male counterparts don't have to. Or don't have to struggle as desperately. And if they dare to have children outside of the patriarchal formula, their struggles are made epic:
Wake women also face numerous obstacles for gaining employment and keeping it – including a lack of programs for women reentering the workforce and high childcare costs.
Making matters worse: Wake County has some of the highest childcare costs in the state. Annual fees for year-round childcare in Wake County range from $5,300 for a three-star center to $12,700 for a five-star center.
Don't mean to step on any toes with the following observation, but I do believe it's one of the dynamic forces holding back progress in this area: Many denominations of organized religion (especially in states like NC) teach a patriarchal doctrine; the male is the spiritual leader of the family, and absent that "father figure" the family will lose its way and all sorts of troubles will follow. Both men and women who have grown up hearing this frequently are conditioned with a bias against gender equality that is difficult to root out. I'm talking about true gender equality, not just the cherishing and benevolent treatment that patriarchal formula is supposed to provide.
Now, an enlightened adult might be able to sit through such a sermon and take it with a grain of salt, or postulate that some of the married couples in the congregation *are* better off adhering to that, while others can decide what they will. But if there are children sitting there too, which there usually are, imagine hearing it through their ears. As a boy, and as a girl. If that message makes one of those more confident but the other less confident, the message is flawed, no matter which book of the Bible it came from.