Posted by: *carrie* | April 20, 2010

Today is Equal Pay Day

Today is Equal Pay Day. From the National Committee on Pay Equity:

This date symbolizes how far into 2010 women must work to earn what men earned in 2009.

The women at Equality Myth point out:

8 months of groceries
The amount a woman could buy for a family of four if she were paid equal to her male peers, according to data from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and the USDA.

58 cents
The amount that Latina women make per every male dollar in the United States. The gap among African American women is 70 cents; women overall—the figure we most often hear—is 77 cents.

9 percent
The amount by which the United States’ GDP could increase if the gender gap were closed.

There are a lot of factors that play into the wage gap between women and men. Women’s work is undervalued, and so jobs viewed as ‘women’s work’, such as cleaning, teaching, taking care of kids, secretarial work, etc. pay less that jobs viewed as ‘men’s work’, even if the ‘men’s work’ requires less skill and/or education, such as factory work.

Even when studies look at the wage gap in comparable work (men vs. women in factories, men vs. women in teaching, etc.) – men make more. This sometimes gets attributed to women taking time off for families. To which I wonder about the men with families. I’ve worked with some of them, and they also take time off for family-related things (sick child, spring break, etc.) While I don’t begrudge anyone taking care of their kids, I am a little pissed that a man who is doing these things might make more than I do simply because someone thinks I might, someday, have to take off for kids I don’t even have or want.

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