All Articles Tagged "women’s pay"
Yesterday, I was forced to repeatedly listen to Beyoncé’s new single, “Run the World (Girls),” thanks to a precocious teenager who insisted on playing the song ad-nasuem. Don’t get me wrong—I’m not hatin’ on Beyoncé. The song has catchy lyrics and a sick beat. But after hearing it for the eighth time, I was pretty much ready to bang my head against the wall to the rhythm of the song. Yet at some point during the ninth replay of the song, I began to wonder if there was some legitimacy to Beyoncé’s girl-power anthem: do girls, also known as women, really run the world?
There is a really compelling argument to make that women may have finally achieved a power advantage in society. In an article written last year for The Atlantic, writer Hanna Rosin discussed the global economy’s shift to favoring “female” characteristics while male-dominated industries, such as manufacturing, construction and finance, are declining.
The U.S. Department of Labor seems to support Rosin’s argument. Statistics show that women comprised 46.8 percent of the total U.S. labor force in 2009, and are projected to account for 46.9 percent of the labor force in 2018. Women have also made great strides in management, professional and related occupations with 40 percent being employed. Also, for the first time in history, more women have college degree than our male counterparts.
Yes, Virginia Slims; we have come a long way, baby.
While there is no doubt that woman have made some gains in society, there is still a fair amount of inequality that women face in the workplace and in society at large. The biggest obstacle is the earnings gap between men and women. Women are likely to earn only 77.5-80 cents for every dollar that men earn for the same work—and that number decreases if you are a woman of color. Although economists who predicted that the income gap would decrease, it has actually stayed that same with no movement. In fact, 59 percent of working women are making less than $8 an hour.
Despite Beyoncé’s assertion that “we give birth to children then get back to business,” as a result of the economic recession, single women with children became the poorest group in this country. In 2009, of those households that lived in poverty, 29.9 percent were headed by single women, compared to 16.9 percent of single men and 5.8 percent of married couples. Unfortunately, very little is being done to assist households led by single mothers to retain their places in the workforce. Despite the financial hardships that come with the new arrival of a child, many employers still do not provide women with any benefits if they need to leave work temporarily.
Globally, women account for two-thirds of the world’s 774 million illiterate adults. In some parts of the world, women and girls bear the brunt of poverty. Their lack of control over resources, including land and other types of property, has limited their economic autonomy, which has made them the most vulnerable group to economic or environmental issues.
Back in the U.S., a woman is assaulted or beaten every nine seconds. Domestic violence is the leading cause of injury to women—more than care accidents, muggings and rapes combined – and every day, more than three women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends. Around the world, at least one in every three women has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused during her lifetime. Most often, the abuser is a member of her own family.
Despite the fun posturing in the “Run The World” song, the reality is still much closer to the words of James Brown, in that it’s still a “man’s world.” By the way, out of all the world leaders currently in power, only 20 of them are women. Though it has been a record-breaking year for women in power, it’s still not enough to actually rule the world.
Charing Ball is the author of the blog People, Places & Things.
(Wall Street Journal) — Women are gaining ground educationally and economically, but men still make more money on average and women are more likely to live in poverty, according to a White House report expected to be released Tuesday. The report compiles data from a half-dozen U.S. government agencies on topics including women’s educational attainment, employment, earnings and experience with crime and abuse. Many of the figures have been released previously by different parts of the government, but now have been put pulled together into one document, billed by the White House as its most comprehensive report on the state of women in 50 years.
“Women have not only caught up with men in college attendance but younger women are now more likely than younger men to have a college or a master’s degree,” wrote Valerie Jarrett, a senior adviser to President Barack Obama, and Christina Tchen, chief of staff to first lady Michele Obama, in a foreword. “Yet, these gains in education and labor force involvement have not yet translated into wage and income equity.”