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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.

Sources:

The White House Report Release 3/1/2011; CNN 3/1/2011; CBS News 11/17/2010