Beyoncé has always been a strong leader and advocate for female empowerment and equal rights. While we head into 2014 the R&B superstar continues to stand up for women everywhere, by penning a letter for Maria Shriver’s annual Shriver Report, in which she speaks out on gender equality. In the short essay entitled “Gender Equality Is a Myth!” Beyoncé addresses the “unacceptable” differences in earnings between men and women.
While she may sing about girls running the world, she points out that the average woman earns only 77 percent of what their male counterparts make.
She demands change and looks forward to the day when men and women receive equal pay and respect.
Read Bey’s feminist manifesto below:
We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn’t a reality yet. Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change. Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters earn more—commensurate with their qualifications and not their gender. Equality will be achieved when men and women are granted equal pay and equal respect.
Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. So why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.
We have a lot of work to do, but we can get there if we work together. Women are more than 50 percent of the population and more than 50 percent of voters. We must demand that we all receive 100 percent of the opportunities.