Friday, August 27, 2010

90 Years After the Vote, U.S. Women Still Seek Economic Citizenship

by Tula Connell, Aug 26, 2010

Women won the right to vote 90 years ago today. As historian Christine Stansell points out, the seemingly “no-brainer” move to ensure women have the same political citizenship rights as men was contested in this country until 1984, when Mississippi became the last state to ratify the 19th Amendment giving women the right to vote.
That’s 1984—19 years after the Voting Rights Act and 13 years after 18-year-olds got the right to vote.
Working women today still are fighting for complete citizenship—economic citizenship. The Joint Economic Committee yesterday released a report on economic advances by women over the past quarter century and found that despite a quarter-century of progress,challenges remain. Certain industries remain heavily gender-segregated. In addition, millions of women are struggling to juggle work outside the home
with family care-giving responsibilities. Sometime this year, the percentage of women in the U.S. workforce became equal to that of men. Yet, as economists point out, the recent decrease in the pay gap between men and women is a reflection of the loss of pay for men, not an increase for women. Women still only make 78 cents for every dollar a man is paid.

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