Sr. John Says: Let’s try for gender equality


Photo credit/ Katlynn Whitaker

Sr. John Michele Southwick, I.H.M., Special Contributor

Gender equality? On college campuses! I’m not sure whether anything is equal in our society, or ever was. There are so many factors that influence us that to remain unbiased is virtually impossible.  Gender equality is defined as “the state in which access to rights or opportunities is unaffected by gender.” We don’t have to go far to see that this is not true in so many areas.


First: There are more women graduating from college with higher grades than men, and yet men still make more money in the workplace than women. In 2012 women earned 77 cents for every dollar men earned.  Girls are not encouraged in high school to study STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math), which affects them in college.


Second: Let’s look at women’s collegiate sports, or whether there are enough people who actually go to see the sport?  Women’s sports on campus and professional women’s sports are ignored on TV and attendance.  How about the salary gap in collegiate woman’s basketball for example?  At the University of Kansas, the women’s coach makes about $505,000.00 which the men’s coach makes almost $5 million according to a March 2015 article in The Atlantic. What does that say to women?


Third: There is research out there from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences Teaching Center at Columbia University that says that in public institutions of higher education, even though there are more females than males, instructors call on males more than females. (Although I am not sure this is true at Marywood!).  Also, they may use male students’ names more often than female names.  Some professors like debate and male students tend to enter into that type of dialogue more so than females.


With all of that being said, I won’t go into women in the church.  We have a long way to go.  I would love to have a conversation with you about that but…


My last word is some day we will be equal – male and female, maybe when we get to heaven!


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