Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Women: You'll Have to Wait Until 2054 for Wage Parity

Girl, the local morning news, which I seldom watch, just reported some good news for women working in Washington, DC. According to a report released yesterday by the Institute for Women's Policy Research, women here make 92 cents for every dollar a white man makes. Woo Woo! Smell me.

Considering this area boasts the highest number of federal workers per capita and that federal wages by job type are more highly regulated, I'm wondering why the gap isn't smaller. But, I should stop complaining. You see, the District of Columbia ranks the highest in the IWPR's state-by-state poll. Maryland is #2.

The study focused on "political participation, employment and earnings, social and economic autonomy, access to sex education and family-planning resources and general health" and the gains women have made in the last 40 years in each of those areas.

According to Camille Ricketts write-up for Knight-Ridder (hold on to your hats and glasses, ladies!), the south shows the greatest inequities between women and men.

Minnesota, Vermont, Connecticut and Washington are the best states for women, concluded the Institute for Women's Policy Research, an arm of George Washington University. That is based on the group's analysis of political participation, employment and earnings, social and economic autonomy, access to sex education and family-planning resources and general health.

By those measures, the toughest states for women are Mississippi, South Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. Florida rated a ``dishonorable mention,'' one step above the lowest-ranked group.


Heidi Hartmann, the institute's president, said that the greatest disparities are in pay. And noted those differences are even greater when race is a factor.

`Wherever you go in America, women are shortchanged,'' she said. ``And women of color fare far worse than white women.''

American women earn 76 cents for every dollar men earn, the institute found. If the gap shrinks at the current rate, it will persist for 50 years.

Black women make 63 cents for every dollar a white man earns and Latino women make just over 50 cents, according to the study.


So, do you think Condi is going to make as much as Colin did at State? I wonder how much Warren Christopher and George Schultz made when they had that job.

Do you think there's a correlation between "moral values" and pay equity? Is there a way for Democats to capitalize on wage inequity in the "red" states?

Lots of questions. I'm curious to hear what you think.

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