Women, Wal-Mart & Mill
In 2001, a group of six female Wal-Mart employees, representing a group of nearly 1.5 million female associates, filed lawsuit against Wal-Mart, accusing the company of engaging in acts of gender bias. In an interview with Betty Dukes, a Wal-Mart employee, we learn that male workers have been promoted much more frequently than women and men have simply been able to advance in all aspects of employment more than women have. Betty claims women have been consistently underpaid in every division of the company. Currently, the Supreme Court is deciding whether 1.5 billion women can file class action lawsuit against Wal-Mart for acts of gender discrimination. Ms. Dukes hopes Wal-Mart will readdress how they treat and promote their female employees.
As a supporter of greater rights for women, I thought Mill would be horrified that this situation of gender inequality is still such a prevalent issue in today’s workforce. This case against Wal-Mart certainly exemplifies how women are hindered by gender construction in society. Mill, however, would be proud of Betty Dukes for voicing her opinion, making a bold statement against Wal-Mart’s treatment of women, and not giving up the fight for equality.
Now, we must wait and see what the Supreme Court ultimately decides on this matter of gender discrimination. Maybe Mill’s ideals will be upheld if the Supreme Court rules in favor of the female employees by advancing greater equality rights for women, or maybe they will simply be ignored.
Link to CNN news clip: