Wage Gap Persists Despite Women's Educational Advancement
According to a White House report, women surpass men in college enrollment but make less money on average and are more likely to live in poverty. Valeria Jarrett, a senior advisor to President Obama, and Tina Tchen, chief of staff to Michelle Obama, clarified "Women have not only caught up with men in college attendance but younger women are now more likely than younger men to have a college or a master's degree. Yet, these gains in education and labor force involvement have not yet translated to wage and income equity."
Although the report found that men had a greater unemployment rate than women, it attributes women's greater incidence of poverty in part to the fact that single-mother households are more common than those with single fathers. The report is based on data from a half-dozen US government agencies and is described by White House officials as the most comprehensive report on the status of women to be compiled in 50 years.
Congresswoman Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) stated, "This report shows what we already know - women are largely outpacing men in education, yet still make just 77 cents to the dollar men make. Women make this country run. We deserve equal pay for equal work." Women leaders and women's rights groups have been working on the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which strengthens the Equal Pay Act and will help women fight wage discrimination, for over a dozen years.
Media Resources: The White House Report Release 3/1/2011; CNN 3/1/2011; CBS News 11/17/2010
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .