Three U.N. “human rights experts” sent to the United States to evaluate gender equality were reportedly horrified at the state of women’s rights in America.
According to the Huffington Post, these U.N. delegates were “appalled” after visiting Texas, Alabama, and Oregon in December. Indeed, the subheadline of the story says the experts found the United States “falls far behind most others” in gender equality.
Occupy Atlanta's Sara Amis, center, of Sandy Springs, cheers with other protestors as she holds a sign, "Stop the War on Women!," during the "Walk in My Shoes, Hear Our Voice" protest Monday, March 12, 2012 at the state Capitol in Atlanta. Photo Credit: Jason Getz/AP
Far behind most others? Have these "experts" been to Saudi Arabia?
Some of these dastardly human rights abuses include a 23 percent gender pay gap, insufficient maternity leave, and expensive child care, not to mention a “hostile political climate around women’s reproductive rights.” Reportedly, two citizens exercised their free speech rights outside of an abortion clinic when the women visited, something the Polish delegate likened to terrorism.
Indeed, the three “experts” made the rather startling discovery that American women have numerous “missing rights” compared to international standards, such as — gasp — no guarantee of paid maternity leave. In fact, the British delegate called America’s “lack of accommodation in the workplace” to women’s pre- and post-natal needs “shocking” and “unthinkable.”
The notion that the United States is a hotbed of women’s rights abuses is ludicrous, and the grievances they cite are equally as silly.
For starters, the gender pay gap is a myth. The statistic fails to account for things like hours worked, time out of the workforce and career choice — all things that affect a person’s pay. When you take those considerations into account, that gap shrinks dramatically. If women were 23 percent cheaper to employ than men, employers would be hiring them exclusively. Women aren’t being paid less simply because they’re women.
As for guaranteed paid maternity leave, government mandates aren’t without their costs — something we’ve all learned in the wake of the Obamacare disaster. Employers forced to pay maternity leave are going to make up those costs somehow, perhaps by offering lower compensation or being hesitant to hire women in the first place. As Abigail Hall of the Independent Institute has noted, paid leave is something that can be negotiated with one’s employer, but it shouldn’t be forced on them.
And that child care is expensive is hardly a human rights violation. I assume this U.N. panel wants the government to use even more taxpayer dollars to subsidize and lower the cost of child care. The government already has 45 early child care and learning programs and administers multiple tax subsidy provisions for these purposes.
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That these are the concerns of the United Nations in a time when women in the Middle East can be stoned to death in honor killings is, frankly, astounding. And it doesn’t stop there — the U.N. delegates call for raising the minimum wage in the United States and halting state-level abortion restrictions, in addition to implementing campaign finance reform. Apparently, American women lack “equal opportunity in standing for political election.” Who knew?
It seems that nobody told these three delegates that the United States, though a host of laws, already outlaws discrimination against women, who can run for any political office they please. But hey, that American childcare is expensive!
This is the important work the gender equality experts at United Nations are doing? Perhaps their time could be better spent working to help women suffering at the hands of Shariah law — just a thought.
The war on women motif is a favorite of the left, but I have to imagine that most Americans don’t share the attitudes of these U.N. representatives. American women lag behind the rest of the world, really?
It’s worth noting what the delegates told the Huffington Post was biggest surprise of their trip: that American women were largely unaware of their plight. That, I think, speaks volumes.
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