Gender wage gap taking a punishing toll on Alabama women - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Gender wage gap taking a punishing toll on Alabama women

(WAFF) -

April 4 is Equal Pay Day, which was established by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) to bring national awareness to the continuing gap between men’s and women’s wages. New analysis released ahead of Equal Pay Day tomorrow reveals the size of the gender gap and its detrimental effect on the spending power of Alabama women. 

Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the analysis was done by the National Partnership for Women & Families, a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.

The revelations therein are sobering.

Nationally, women who fold full-time, year-round jobs are paid 80 cents for every dollar paid to men. Black women are paid 63 cents and Latinas just 54 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have a wage gap, as do 94 percent of the country’s congressional districts.

Unfortunately, women in Alabama fare worse than the national average.

Women employed full-time, year-round in Alabama earn just 76 cents for every dollar paid to men, which amounts to a yearly gap of $10,747 per person, and a combined loss of more than $11 billion annually.

That loss is a brutal blow to the more than 271,000 Alabama households headed by women, 37 percent of which are living in poverty. Alabama has the 13th largest pay gap in the country, with only Mississippi and Louisiana faring worse regionally.

Important to note on this issue is that the wage gap cannot be explained by personal choices. It persists regardless of industry. It persists regardless of occupations. It persists regardless of education level. And it exists because discrimination and unconscious bias continue to impact women’s wages across the board.

Per the analysis, if the gap between women’s and men’s wages in Alabama were eliminated, a woman in the state who holds a full-time, year-round job would have enough money for 1.6 more years of food, 9.6 more months of mortgage and utilities payments, nearly 15 more months of rent, more than 26 additional months of child care, 1.1 additional years of tuition fees at a four-year public university, or the full cost of tuition and fees for a two-year community college.

Although progress has been made on the issue over the years, a new analysis shows just how far American women still must go in the fight for equal pay.

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