Friday, November 5, 2010

Report Surveys Economic Landscape for Women

This might not seem like the Year of the Woman – especially if you peak into the pockets and purses of working women and especially if you consider the fact that we are still waiting for the U.S. Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

But if things seem grim, consider this: The White House has recently released a report, “Jobs and Economic Security for America’s Women,” written by the National Economic Council. The report gives us a lay of the land; tells us exactly how these tough economic times have affected women and our families and provides some next steps for us from the Obama Administration.

First of all, the bottom-line – women are pivotal to the economic recovery of this country.

“The economy has changed where women have made such enormous strides that they now constitute fully half of the workforce,” President Obama said in remarks accompanying the release of the report. “They actually constitute probably more than half of the money that’s coming in to middle-class families. And business—small business owners are now a much higher proportion women than they used to be. And so when you talk about what’s happened to the middle class, part of what you’re talking about is what’s happening to women in the workforce."

For one thing, as the Center for American Progress has told us, women are now the primary breadwinner or co-breadwinner in two thirds of American households. As of December 2009, 2.1 million women whose husbands were unemployed were working as the primary revenue earners for their families and 6.1 million single mothers are the sole providers for their households. Additionally, women own 30 percent or 7.8 million American small businesses that generated sales of over $1.2 trillion in 2007—an increase of 46 percent since 1997—and created roughly 500,000 jobs in those 10 years.

But all is not good for women workers.

Of the jobs that are being lost, more of them are occupied by women than by men. Women who are employed still face a wage gap, earning only 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man – and for women of color the gap is even wider. There is still a glass ceiling in many sectors of the economy, especially in the highest earning professions. And, many women still have to make choices that place their economic security at jeopardy; choices like whether to go to work or stay home and care for an ill child because of the lack of paid sick days.

Year of the Woman – that remains to be seen.

Read the report for yourself.

And there’s something else you can do. Be sure to contact your U.S. Senators and let them know that the Senate must make a priority of passing the Paycheck Fairness Act before this year ends. For more info, visit

Women and our families just can’t wait any longer to win economic justice.

1 comment:

  1. With women as the head of so many households, and with the fate of the country riding on us, the Senate MUST pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. If they don't do it this year, we'll have to start all over again next year. And in these times, women can't afford to wait another moment for equal pay