She is one half of the most powerful couple in the music industry, but that doesn’t stop Beyonce from having extremely strong feelings about sexual inequality.
The 32-year-old singer has written a outspoken essay for Maria Shriver’s “Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink,” in which she argues the case for gender equality in America by promoting equal pay in the workforce.
“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,” revealed Mrs. Carter. “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.”
The article went on to state: “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,” she concluded.
Beyonce’s essay is her latest feminist proclamation following the inclusion of an excerpt by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie on her recent self-titled album.
The track “Flawless” proclaims: “We teach girls to shrink themselves, to make themselves smaller. We say to girls ‘You can have ambition, but not too much,” taken from a speech by the Orange prize-winning author.
The Shriver Report is a study that journalist Shriver publishes alongside the Center for American Progress, with previous guest commentators including Hillary Clinton, LeBron James, Jada Pinkett Smith and Sheryl Sandberg. The full report is downloadable for free until Jan. 15.
This article originally appeared on THR.com.