September 23, 2020

International Women’s Day March 8, 2015: Inequality in Charts

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-1By Teresa Welsh and Tierney Sneed US News

Women around the world still don’t make as much as men.
Sunday marks International Women’s Day, the day ordained by the United Nations to observe the triumphs of and challenges faced by women around the world.

Worldwide, a Gallup survey analyzing such factors as law and order, food and shelter, work, economics, health and daily experiences found that more than one in four women are doing well enough to be considered “thriving.” By contrast, 2 billion women described their condition as are “struggling” or “suffering.”

-1 -2 -2 -3 -3 -4 -5 150305datawomen-wagegaperace-graphic 150305womendata-wagegap-graphic 150308-positiveexperience-submitted Screen Shot 2015-03-09 at 3.47.13 PMIceland, Sweden and Denmark top the list of women found to be thriving, with the U.S. ranking seventh in the world. The top three countries with the highest suffering for women are Bulgaria, Afghanistan and Armenia.

Gallup measured the lowest Positive Index Score for women ever in Syria, a country embroiled in civil war for nearly four years. The war has killed more than 200,000 people and displaced an estimated 12 million within the country and across borders.

Women’s Global Daily Positive Experience

Gender Wage Gap: In the U.S. and Abroad

In 2013, the median annual income for female workers in the U.S. was $38,097 compared to the $48,099 their male counterparts make, according to U.S. Census data, or less than 80 cents on a man’s dollar.

In 2013, the median annual income for female workers was $38,097, compared with the $48,099 their male counterparts made, according to U.S. Census data.

The discrepancy is even greater for women of color, as black and Hispanic women make even less when compared to white women and white men.
The gender wage gap discrepancy is even greater for women of color, as black and Hispanic women make even less when compared to white women and white men.

In recent years, women have made great strides in education: According to a White House report, women between the ages of 25 and 34 are out-earning men in both bachelor’s and graduate degrees. However, increasing one’s education does not appear to close the gender gap for female workers. Once women rise above the high school level, the gender gap for female workers stays about the same or even widens when compared to the median annual earnings of their male counterparts.

Increasing one’s education does not appear to close the gender gap for female workers.

Earnings disparities between men and women are worse in some industries than others. Female workers in the legal profession make only about half the median annual earnings that male legal workers make.
Some occupations are worse than others when it comes to the female wage gap.

Congress passed the pay Equal Pay Act in 1963 to curb sex discrimination in the workplace, yet 50 years later the wage gap persists. President Obama has pushed for the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would give employees more legal rights to pursue wage discrimination claims against employers.

Globally, the U.S. ranks 20th among countries in closing the gender gap. A report by the World Economic Forum found that the U.S. had closed nearly 75 percent of it’s gender gap. The country with the most progress towards eliminating the gender gap is Iceland, followed by other Nordic countries of Finland, Norway, Sweden and Denmark, to round out the top five. Nicaragua and the Philippines, classified as lower-middle income countries, and Rwanda, classified as low income, also score in the top 10. Germany, France, and Canada all rank higher than the U.S., as do Burundi and South Africa.

It is difficult to compile a comprehensive analysis of the gender pay gap worldwide, due to the different reporting methods of wages and difficulty accessing accurate data, but the International Labor Organization says women make 70 to 90 percent of what men make in most countries.In some places, the pay gap varries widely depending on the sector. According to the U.N., in Australia, Russia and Thailand, for example, women can make 150 percent of what men make in some industries, but less than 50 percent in others.

Female Economic Success and Family

A 2010 study by market research firm Reach Advisors found that one group of women have managed not only to close the gender wage gap, but surpass men: the salaries of unmarried, childless metropolitan women under 30 are 8 percent higher than their male counterparts, a trend believed to be driven by the strides in education women have made. This finding also suggests that the decision to marry and to have a family may be in part causing the pay gap, as women struggle to maintain their career track during and after their pregnancies.

Lawmakers have recently rallied behind a measure to improve pay for family leave – federal law, under the Family and Medical Leave Act, requires certain workplaces provide only unpaid leave to employees who meet certain conditions – so it will be easier for women and their partners to temporarily exit and re-enter the workplace as their health and family needs require.

According to a Department of Labor survey, 59 percent of employees meet the conditions to be covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act, which guarantees up to 12 weeks – or in some situations, up to 26 weeks – of unpaid leave annually for specified family or medical emergencies.

However, not everyone who qualifies for unpaid leave can take it because of the economic cost it poses. Many employees who say they need leave, according to a Department of Labor study, are aren’t taking it, and a majority of those employees are women.
Women make up the majority of the population whose work-leave needs are not met by their employers.

While Congress considers paid leave measures, other states have implemented their own policies to economically support employees who need time off for family or medical reasons. California, for instance, has temporary disability insurance , which provides women a short medical leave for childbirth, as well as a paid family leave law that allows fathers and mothers to take paid leave to take care of family. Both programs are financed by employee payroll taxes.

A study by the Rutgers University Center for Women and Work showed the advantages female employees have in those “family friendly” states – California, Hawaii, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island at the time of the 2012 study – that offer public disability insurance and/or paid leave.
In states with more family friendly policies, women who have had children are more likely to have their work-leave needs met.

It also showed that women who had children in “family friendly” states took in less total public assistance income ($357.94 to $749.40) and were less likely to rely on food stamps.

A 2013 report by the International Labor Organization on maternity protection at work in 185 countries and territories found that 830 million women did not have adequate maternity protection, including leave and cash benefits when becoming pregnant. Almost 80 percent of those were in Africa and Asia.

The organization calls maternity leave a “fundamental human right” and says legislation to protect this right promotes equal opportunities for women in the workforce. It says that if mothers are forced to take a short leave, they are sometimes not ready to return to work and may subsequently drop out of the workforce. Some countries say maternity protection is too costly, but the International Labor Organization says that even in lower income countries it is affordable and helps social and economic development.

The study found that 98 countries gave women at least 14 weeks of leave, with 42 countries meeting or exceeding the International Labor Organization’s recommended 18 weeks.
Duration of Maternity Leave, 2013

Access to contraception

According to the Guttmacher Institute and UNFPA, in 2014 more than half of women in developing countries want to avoid pregnancy but a quarter don’t use effective contraception. The organization says that if all women had proper access to modern contraceptive methods, unintended pregnancies would drop from 74 million to 22 million per year, a decrease of 70 percent. It would also decrease unsafe abortions from 20 million to 5.1 million, a decrease of 74 percent.
Women with unmet need for modern contraception

Both maternal deaths and newborn deaths would be decreased if women who didn’t want to become pregnant had access to modern contraceptives and both women and babies received adequate care.

Women’s access to contraception in the U.S. has improved significantly thanks to the Affordable Care Act, which mandated that employers include birth control in their health insurance plans. Many women now receive contraceptive coverage under their insurance without a copay.

IMAGES:
A woman shouts through a megaphone during an International Women’s Day march in Istanbul on March 8, 2014.
Graphs

For more on this story go to: http://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/data-mine/2015/03/08/international-womens-day-inequality-in-charts

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