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Equal Pay Day 2010 - The Facts

by Robin Reed, Online Outreach Manager, 
National Women's Law Center

If you've been following us on Twitter today, you know we've been tweeting out facts on what the wage gap means for women. But of course fair pay isn't only an issue on Equal Pay Day -- so please help us continue to share this information in the months to come with your friends, family, co-workers and online networks:

  • 47 years after the Equal Pay Act was passed, the wage gap has closed just 18 cents -- a rate of less than a penny a year.
  • Women still make only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men -- and the numbers are worse for women of color.
  • More than 15.1 million women -- about one in eight -- are poor.
  • Women account for nearly 1/2 of all workers and in 2008 nearly 40% of mothers were the primary breadwinners for their families.
  • In 2008 women were 35% more likely to live in poverty than men.
  • There is not a single state in which women have gained economic equality with men.
  • Unmarried women will receive an average of $8,000 less per year in retirement income than their male counterparts.
  • Out of over 500 individual occupations, women earn as much as or more than men in only five occupations.
  • In 2008, Washington, D.C., had the smallest wage gap (88%), while Wyoming had the widest gap (64%). 
  • If women earned as much as men, their annual family income would rise by about $4,000 and their poverty rates would be cut in half.
  • African-American women earn 61 cents and Latinas earn 52 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
  • Female survivors of domestic violence lose nearly 8 million days of paid work each year.
  • In January 2009 President Obama enacted the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act -- a key step fwd in giving women the ability to challenge unequal pay.
  • In 2008, 22% of Hispanic women, 9% of white women and 23% of African-American women lived in poverty.
  • In 2008 female workers over 25 with some high school education earned a median annual income of $14,707, compared to $23,831 for men. 
  • The Paycheck Fairness Act would prohibit retaliation against workers who disclose their wages.
  • In December 2009, women’s unemployment jumped to 8.2%, the highest rate in over 26 years.
  • In 2008 the median weekly wages earned by female physicians were 64% of the median weekly wages of male physicians.
  • By 2004 a typical woman who graduated college in 1984 had lost more than $440,000 due to the wage gap.


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