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Gender pay gap


Record numbers of women have entered the workforce in recent decades. However, they usually earn less money than men who are working at similar or identical jobs. The male–female income differential, also called the gender pay gap, refers to the ratio of female to male yearly median earnings among full-time workers. In 2019, it was estimated women earned nearly 82% of what men earned. This 18-cent gender pay gap among all workers has narrowed from 36 cents in 1980. Much of that gap is due to measurable factors such as education level, occupational segregation and work experience. In 2019, women earned a weekly median of $821, while men earned $1,007. However, studies show much wider gaps exist for women of color and working mothers, in both the private and government sectors. Women make up about half our workforce and more than 70% are mothers of young children.

Some say the gender pay gap is a myth, arguing that women's choices, not discrimination, account for the wage gap. Others disagree saying that in most cases, mothers do choose to have children, but they don't choose the discrimination that usually accompanies that decision. They say women earn less than men even when they work the same number of hours - a gap that exists across every educational level. They claim hundreds of studies which have confirmed gender pay differences can only be explained by continued intentional discrimination, or the lingering effects of past discrimination. Advocates say pay disparity greatly undermines the stability of many American households and the quality of life of many American families.

Pending Legislation: S.205 - Paycheck Fairness Act (passed House)
Sponsor: Sen. Patty Murray (WA)
Status: Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
Chair: Sen. Patty Murray (WA)












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Poll Opening Date
November 22, 2021
Poll Closing Date
November 28, 2021


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