Women can bring home the bacon and even fry it up in the pan, but they’re still bringing home a lot less bacon than men. In fact, in every state in the U.S. women are poorer than men, reinforcing the need for Equal Pay Day. This is especially true for women of color.
According to a new study by Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), the wage gap will take a long time to close. Actually, it won’t be in our lifetime. Women continue to have higher poverty rates with the latest installment of IWPR’s series, Status of Women in the States: 2015, revealing a decrease in the percentage of women living above the poverty line to 85.4 in 2013 from 87.9 in 2002.
Race plays a major factor in poverty among women. “The poverty rate for Native American, Black, and Hispanic women is nearly twice the rate for white women,” reports The Daily Beast.
The financial situation is tougher for women in the Southern states, especially Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. But the problem is nationwide. Across the country, 15.5 percent of women live in poverty versus 11.9 percent of men.
It seems even significant gains in education over the past two decades with more women seeking higher education, haven’t closed the gap all that much.
“The persistent wage gap, even for women with bachelor’s degrees, in addition to high female poverty rates, and lack of educational access for Hispanic, Black, and Native American women, all point to the need for gender and race-sensitive approaches to addressing income inequality,” said Barbara Gault, vice president and executive director of IWPR, in a press release.
The study did find some positive news. There has been an increase in women-owned business, going from 26.0 to 28.8 percent; the number of businesses owned by women of color has increased greatly. Of women-owned businesses, women of color own 32 percent.