According to new figures from World Economic Forum’s annual Global Gender Gap Report 2015, women around the world can finally expect equal pay in about 118 years. Read: when you are dead and gone and gone some more. According to the report, worldwide pay for women is behind by nearly a decade, meaning that we are paid on average the equivalent of what men were paid in 2006. The report highlights that since 2008, the start of the global financial crisis, improvements in the pay gap have been minuscule.
For every $1 earned by a man, researchers estimate that a woman will get about 60 cents on average. Women’s pay per year averages about $11,102 and men’s falls at $20,554 and these were just the numbers in in 2006. Rwanda scored the best of paying men and women almost equally for work in similar jobs, with Zambia coming in third and Albania fifth. Angola, Brazil, France, Chile and Argentina had the worst scores. According to numbers out of the White House, on average, full-time working women in the U.S. earn just 78 cents for every dollar a man earns. Here at home, this number falls closer to the 60 cents range when you factor in race. In the U.S., reports show that Black women make 64 cents and Latinas make 56 cents for every dollar earned by a white man. Additionally, women who have children make even less than women who don’t. With women leading 40% of American households as the breadwinner, this wage gap problem is not only affecting women but families as well. Unfortunately, these statistics don’t break down numbers for queer and transgender women who experience job discrimination at alarming levels.
WHAT YOU CAN ACTIVELY START TO DO ABOUT THE PAY GAP
Get familiar with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This law amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and makes it so people can legally and effectively challenge unequal pay.
Know your rights to pay as a woman. Check out The Women’s Bureau in the Department of Labor’s Guide to Women’s Equal Pay Rights which is a comprehensive guide for both employers and employees that explains equal pay laws. It also provides information on what to do if you feel that you are experiencing pay discrimination based on your gender.
Support the Paycheck Fairness Act which amends the portion of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 known as the Equal Pay Act to address income disparity based on gender in the United States.
Stay informed and fight for our right to equal pay. And don’t forget to be inclusive in your language about pay. It’s not women earn 70 cents on the dollar, or 64 cents, it’s we (women everywhere) earn on average 60 cents on dollar. Memorize the numbers and stay up-to-date with this battle so that you are able to talk about the differences in racial inequality that comes along with the gender gap as well.