Top 5 Social Issues for Women in 2024

December 15, 2023

In 2024, certain social issues for women will continue to persist disproportionately and demand our attention and concerted efforts for meaningful change. From economic imbalances to educational disparities, these issues underscore the need for a collective push toward a more equitable and inclusive society.

At Dignity Grows, we’re passionate about increasing equality for women across the country, in every aspect of life.

Here are the top five issues that continue to impact women in the United States:

#1 – Period Poverty

Period Poverty is a pressing concern in 2024, with our recent survey revealing that 36% of women experience this disparity. Period Poverty is defined as limited access to affordable and hygienic menstrual products, a continued stigma surrounding menstruation, and educational disruptions for young girls.

The Impact of Tampon Tax

Period Poverty is also made worse by the “Tampon Tax,” a term that gained traction in recent years. This tax refers to the imposition of sales tax on menstrual products, classifying them as non-essential items.

The tampon tax impacts more than just finances; it classifies basic hygiene needs for women as luxury items, rather than as necessities which can exacerbate gender inequities. Many states have eliminated sales tax on menstrual products, but it remains an issue in others.

A graphic depicts the definition of 'Tampon Tax' which is a sales tax that is applied to any kind of menstrual product. Over a dozen US states still allow these taxes.

Protection from Hygiene Deserts

Hygiene deserts describe communities with an absence of affordably priced menstrual hygiene products. Dignity Grows protects communities from hygiene deserts by ensuring that each Dignity Grows Tote has a full month’s supply of products procured directly from mission-driven manufacturers and never from local stores.

By keeping affordable supplies on store shelves, while simultaneously offering direct product support, Dignity Grows bolsters the overall hygiene resources of every community we serve.

Efforts to tackle Period Poverty in 2024 must go beyond addressing the Tampon Tax, encompassing comprehensive strategies that include policy change, increased education and destigmatization, and ensuring universal access to menstrual products.

#2 – Educational Disadvantages

Education is often considered a cornerstone for empowerment, yet many women continue to face educational disadvantages. In 2024, this issue persists, with several factors contributing to the gap.

All schools are not created equally, and less than 30% of students in low-income neighborhoods enroll in a 4-year college. Additionally, deep-rooted gender biases within educational systems often hinder women from feeling comfortable pursuing certain fields or advanced studies.

Efforts must be made to break down these barriers, ensuring that every girl and woman has equal access to quality education, irrespective of their geographical location or societal expectations.

#3 – Income Disparity

Income disparity remains a pervasive issue affecting women across the United States. On average, women continue to earn less than their male counterparts for comparable work. In 2022, it was reported that American women typically earned 82 cents for every dollar earned by men.

This wage gap is often attributed to a combination of factors, including occupational segregation, where women are disproportionately concentrated in lower-paying professions, and implicit biases that influence hiring and promotion decisions.

Efforts to address this disparity involve advocating for equal pay legislation, promoting workplace transparency, and challenging societal norms that perpetuate gender-based wage discrepancies. Despite progress, the gender pay gap underscores the ongoing need for comprehensive measures to ensure fair and equitable compensation for women in the workforce.

#4 – Food Insecurity

In the United States, gender disparities in food insecurity persist as a notable concern. Women, particularly those heading single-parent households, are more likely to experience food insecurity than their male counterparts. This discrepancy is often linked to the wage gap and a higher likelihood of women working in low-wage jobs.

An empty hand basket sits atop cleared-off grocery store shelves

Additionally, women’s economic vulnerability is exacerbated by factors such as the rising cost of living and limited access to affordable childcare. To address these gender-specific challenges in the U.S., comprehensive policies are needed to improve economic opportunities for women and ensure that social safety nets effectively support those at risk of food insecurity.

#5 – Work and Home Balance

Achieving a harmonious work-life balance remains an elusive challenge, particularly because women bear a disproportionate burden of unpaid care and domestic work. This inequity exacerbates gender disparities in the professional sphere, hindering career advancement.

Parental leave policies, a crucial determinant of this balance, pose a persistent concern for women in the workforce. Insufficient provisions can impede career progression and perpetuate gender inequality. Addressing these imbalances requires a comprehensive approach, encompassing workplace policies that promote equality, cultural shifts in societal expectations, and collaborative efforts to redefine traditional gender roles in both professional and domestic spheres.

Advancing Women’s Social Issues in 2024

2024 presents a pivotal moment to address and rectify the challenges that women face globally. From dismantling the Tampon Tax to advocating for fairer work and home balance, the journey towards gender equality demands collective efforts.

By recognizing and actively working to resolve these issues, we can pave the way for a more inclusive and equitable future for all women.

Looking for a place to start? Learn more about how you can get involved with eliminating Period Poverty.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the top social issues for women in 2024?

The top social issues for women in 2024 include Period Poverty, educational disadvantages, income disparity, food insecurity, and work/home balance challenges. These issues highlight ongoing struggles for access, equality, and empowerment across various aspects of women’s lives.

What is needed to address gender inequality in schools and workplace?

Addressing gender inequality in schools and the workplace requires implementing policies promoting equal opportunities, combating biases in hiring and promotions, fostering inclusive environments, and providing support for work-life balance. Education on gender sensitivity and diversity, along with active efforts to challenge stereotypes, are also essential for creating lasting change.