Gender Discrimination

Both women and men face gender discrimination


Even in this day and age, women struggle to achieve equal pay for equal work. Some experience discrimination around pregnancy, and fight for paid maternity leave. Child-care issues are a major factor in a woman’s ability to be in the work force. Single parents face challenges every time a child is ill, or school is cancelled.

Out of 11.7 million single-parent families in 2010, 9.9 million were headed by custodial moms, according to Twenty-three percent of children in single-parent families lived exclusively with their mothers. Currently, 1 in 4 U.S. households is headed by a single mom according to Reuters, and almost without exception these women earn far less than married women with children. Twenty-nine percent of custodial single moms live at or below the poverty level, according to The pay gap between single and married women without children is, on average, $857 per year. Shockingly, the different in the pay between single and married moms averages $19,000 per year, according to the Pew Research Center. In 1960 there were 1.9 million single moms in the United States; by 2011 there were 8.6 million.

Women of every age can both benefit from and serve as models of strong leaders who seek to create balance among professional, personal, and family responsibilities. Do you have experiences that could benefit someone else? Do you want to talk to someone who can help you with career roles or discrimination? Contact the Gender Equity Initiative: [email protected]


We don't usually think about men when we talk about discrimination and abuse, but they are not immune. Single fathers and stay-at-home dads often have to fight for recognition as primary parents. Until fairly recently, diaper-changing stations were only installed in traditional women’s restrooms. Some work places do not grant paternity leave to their employees.

In 2011 there were 2.6 million single dads in the United States – 9 times more than in 1960, according to the Pew Research Center. According to, 12.9 percent of custodial single dads live in poverty, and single dads in general almost always make less money than married dads, according to Reuters. Only 69 percent of single dads have full-time jobs, compared to 88 percent of married dads. The biggest difference in the employment and earning potential of single versus married dads can be traced to issues of child care. Challenges to careers come as a result of marital status, parental status, gender and sexual orientation. People of all genders and ages benefit when all are treated equally.

Victims of sexual assault and domestic violence come in every gender. Additionally, all genders are subject to stereotypes, and society’s views of masculinity can affect life at home as much as at work. Visit the Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence's Ten Men campaign to find out more about men who consciously work to be models for their responsibility and responsible relationships in their community.

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Last Updated: 8/18/20