Where is the equality today?

I watched a film a few nights ago, “Suffragette,” released in Great Britain in 2015 and directed by Sarah Gavron, which depicted the women’s suffrage movement in Britain in 1912 and a small group of women who strayed from their previously peaceful attempts to gain the right to vote.
The film claims in its credits to have not wandered from the truth in its portrayal of the struggle of women to achieve equal rights.
In light of the climate in Hollywood regarding the abusive power of men and their time to do so being up, the film was a good connector for me.
In more than 100 years, it seems we have not come very far; though measurable changes have happened, the finish line seems a long way off.
The recent resignation of Catt Sandler from E News was a clear indication the playing field is not level. Though she started at the network the same year as her co-host and they do the same job, Jason Kennedy was paid more than double Sandler’s salary.
I can’t help but throw my hands up in disbelief and despair.
In 1990, I was the Assistant Controller for a ready-mix/aggregate business with a fleet of more than a dozen ready-mix trucks and crews to fit.
Only one woman held the position of driver of a ready-mix concrete truck. Though she had experience surpassing that of more than half of the male drivers, her pay was $2/hour less than her male co-workers.
And when concrete orders were slow on any given day, she was the first sent home.
Her driving record was impeccable, her skill and professionalism of a high standard, yet the rules of fairness were never followed. No matter how I argued and pleaded with the Controller, he saw no problem with his strategies of pay and considered it more than fair because of her gender.
He had given her an opportunity, he claimed, and that seemed enough.
In the film “Suffragette,” a woman gave her life to catch the attention of King George V; to bring the goals of suffragettes to the foreground. Women were beaten by police and incarcerated during their peaceful protests.
As they had no legal rights to their children, they often lost access to them as a result of their suffrage efforts. Women and children were property.
I grew up in a home where my parents were equal; my father assuring me there wasn’t anything I couldn’t do if I put my mind to it and insisting I “never let a boy do something you can do yourself.” I listened.
He taught me to change a tire and to change the oil in the car before I could drive. He outfitted me with my own tool belt whenever we were repairing fences or building something, and he taught me the glorious therapy of hammering nails.
I love him every day for the rights he bestowed on me as a child.
Where did he get such an idea? From his mother–a woman I have no real memory of, who was bed-ridden for the last several years of her life due to a damaged heart in childhood by rheumatic fever. She died when I was four years old.
Perhaps it is the mothers of sons who will change the world in a more dramatic fashion; mothers who will raise their sons with a firm foundation of equality, of respect to be applied to any and all members of society.
If my grandmother had that vision in 1955, surely we can do better.
“I raise up my voice–not so I can shout but so that those without a voice can be heard . . . we cannot succeed when half of us are held back.” (Malala Yousafzai)
wendistewart@live.ca