U.S. Census data on women for Women’s History Month

Catch the latest blog post from the Connecticut State Data Center at the University of Connecticut.


Did you know:


The median annual earnings of women 15 or older who worked year-round, full time in 2012. In comparison, the median annual earnings of men were $49,398. Source: Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012, Page 7

April 17, 2012 : She earns in 15.5 months what he earns in 12. Equal Pay Day.

The next Equal Pay Day is Tuesday, April 17, 2012. This date symbolizes how far into 2012 women must work to earn what men earned in 2011.

Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages.

Since Census statistics showing the latest wage figures will not be available until late August or September, NCPE leadership decided years ago to select a Tuesday in April as Equal Pay Day. (Tuesday was selected to represent how far into the work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week.) The date also is selected to avoid avoid religious holidays and other significant events.

Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. The wage gap is even greater for most women of color.

For more information, see NCPE’s Equal Pay Day Kit 
or contact the NCPE.

FORUM: 40 years later, classics of women’s movement endure- The New Haven Register – Serving New Haven, Connecticut

By Rhea Hirshman

IT’S the end of the semester, and I’m emerging from under piles of exams and papers. That bedraggled middle-aged woman who sneaked into in my bathroom mirror is looking considerably more chipper now that I’ve been getting a full night’s sleep and, after a few deep breaths, I’ll be thinking about next semester, when I’ll be teaching my upper-level course on the U.S. women’s movement.

Teaching about something you have lived is like looking through that mirror, seeing your younger self waving at you. That self grew up and into political awareness with Ms. magazine, which celebrates its 40th anniversary this month. With the conviction that American women had concerns beyond cooking and cosmetics, its founders developed ideas for a publication that would reflect the growing feminist movement.

On Dec. 20, 1971, the first Ms. appeared, as an insert in New York magazine. While detractors found the idea of a wide-circulation feminist magazine laughable — TV newsman Harry Reasoner scoffed, “I’ll give it six months before they run out of things to say” — the 300,000 copies sold out in eight days, and the publication received 26,000 subscription orders and more than 20,000 reader letters within a few weeks. The first stand-alone issue appeared the following July.

Feminist activists had long been critical of the traditional women’s magazines. In March of 1970, about 100 had targeted Ladies’ Home Journal, storming into the male editor’s office, presenting demands and sitting-in for 11 hours. While only a few demands were met, writer Vivian Gornick noted: “It was a watershed moment. It showed us … that we did, indeed, have a (women’s) movement.” That movement needed a new kind of magazine.

In 1971, you may remember, married women could not obtain credit in their own names; job listings were segregated by sex; “marital rape” was considered an oxymoron; employers could freely discriminate against pregnant women; and equal pay for equal work was a new concept. There were no shelters for battered women or rape crisis hot lines, the term “sexual harassment” was not in the lexicon, and there was no Title IX banning sex discrimination in educational institutions.

Ms. tackled these topics and more. True to its activist origins, it went beyond reporting: explaining and advocating for the Equal Rights Amendment; rating presidential candidates on women’s issues ranging from child care to Social Security policy to women in prison; commissioning and presenting a national study on date rape.

Today’s Ms. covers international women’s issues, reviews books and music and deals with such subjects as the environment and the gender politics of emerging technologies. For most of its history, Ms. has supported itself with subscriptions and donations, eschewing the advertising that is the lifeblood of most mainstream magazines.

Along with Ms., another ground-breaking publication celebrates its 40th anniversary this year: the book “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” It filled an enormous need for accurate, nonjudgmental information about all aspects of women’s health and sexuality; in a parallel to the response to Ms. magazine, the first edition sold 250,000 copies.

A nonprofit organization, also called Our Bodies Ourselves, grew out of the book’s publication. It went on to advocate for women’s health issues worldwide, with a mission of “advancing health and human rights within a framework of values shaped by women’s voices and a commitment to self-determination and equality.”

The book, now in its ninth edition, is published in 26 overseas editions that are attuned to local cultures. It has sold 4.5 million copies and was recently named by Time magazine one of the 100 best and most influential books written in English since 1923.

Through technology that we couldn’t have imagined four decades ago, I use the electronic version of Ms. in classes, and refer students to the Our Bodies Ourselves website.

As I will tell my students again next semester, another measure of the success of both Ms. and “Our Bodies Ourselves” is how often attempts have been made to ban them. But, they have endured and flourished and, along with them, the core feminist messages of equality, dignity and transformation.

Rhea Hirshman of New Haven is a freelance writer and adjunct professor at the Stamford branch of the University of Connecticut. Write to her in care of the Register, 40 Sargent Drive, New Haven 06511. Email: rheahirshman@gmail.com.

via FORUM: 40 years later, classics of women’s movement endure- The New Haven Register – Serving New Haven, Connecticut.

Pay equity : simple way to save tax dollars

Pay equity would have a tremendous impact on reducing poverty. Are you listening, politicians?

A report by the AFL-CIO and the Institute for Women’s Policy Research found that if women were paid fairly the income of single women would rise 13.4%, single mothers would earn 17% more, and married women would earn 6% more. These increases would lead to reductions in poverty of 84% for single women, 50% for single mothers, and 62%for married women.

See more at Professional Women: Vital Statistics produced by the Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE).

The Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (DPE)comprises 23 AFLCIO unions representing over four million people working in professional, technical and administrative support occupations. DPE-affiliated unions represent: teachers, college professors and school administrators; library workers; nurses, doctors and other health care professionals; engineers, scientists and IT workers; journalists and writers, broadcast technicians and communications specialists; performing and visual artists; professional athletes; professional firefighters; psychologists, social workers and many others. DPE was chartered by the AFL-CIO in 1977 in recognition of the rapidly-growing professional and technical occupations.

News: The Enduring Gender Gap in Pay – Inside Higher Ed

We are quickly approaching Equal Pay Day next Tuesday, April 12, 2011. This date symbolizes how far into 2011 women must work to earn what men earned in 2010. This is the national average. Depending on the woman’s economic status, race, ethnicity, age, and type of work, the date can move in either direction. The naysayers have similar points: women work less hours because they are taking care of children (put them first?), women take time off for longer lengths of time and thus don’t continue to climb that career ladder, or they choose the less demanding jobs. So many more. Discounting women. Ignoring the glass ceilings and slippery floors.

The report linked here deals with women in academia. A very harsh workplace. The writers find that even after accounting all the elements, women in academia are still paid less than comparable men.

News: The Enduring Gender Gap in Pay – Inside Higher Ed.

Muslim Women Gain Higher Profile in U.S. – NYTimes.com

Muslim Women Gain Higher Profile in U.S. – NYTimes.com.

Good to read a relatively positive portrayal of Muslim women in the US.  They don’t deny that they still experience discrimination and worse at times. But their successes, while staying within the framework of Islam, female, and America, make progress for all women.

These women have achieved a level of success and visibility unmatched elsewhere. They say they are molded by the freedoms of the United States — indeed, many unabashedly sing its praises — and by the intellectual ferment stirred when American-born and immigrant Muslims mix.

“What we’re seeing now in America is what has been sort of a quiet or informal empowerment of women,” said Shireen Zaman, executive director of the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, a nonprofit research institute founded after the 2001 attacks to provide research on American Muslims. “In many of our home countries, socially or politically it would’ve been harder for Muslim women to take a leadership role. It’s actually quite empowering to be Muslim in America.”

A bit later in the article, Knowlton states:

Yet in their quest to break stereotypes, America’s Muslim women have advantages. They are better educated than counterparts in Western Europe, and also than the average American, according to a Gallup survey in March 2009. In contrast to their sisters in countries like Egypt and Saudi Arabia, they are just as likely as their menfolk to attend religious services, which equates to greater influence. And Gallup found that Muslim American women, often entrepreneurial, come closer than women of any other faith to earning what their menfolk do.

Leadership in their religion is the most obvious missing piece in their move toward equality. It will be interesting to check in with these women in a few years.

Equal Pay Day #fairpay

It’s that day of the year again. April 20. The day that we finally come to parity with men’s pay which they earned by the end of last year.

There’s a $10,622 gap between the median yearly earnings of men and women. That’s $10,622 missing from a woman’s income each year. Without the wage gap, how would your life be different?

Women are notorious for spending money on their families — for good food, clothing, education — things that make life better for those around her.  Take a look at AAUW’s interactive map of the U.S.. Mouse over your state or the state your daughter or sister or brother or aunt or uncle or best friends live. The numbers are there.

Paycheck Fairness Act is currently in committee.  Please urge your Senators to support this bill, and find out more about equal pay for women.

Let’s make next year better.

%d bloggers like this: