More on women and the US economy: UPDATED

Today’s NYT letters to the editor have a number of authoritative voices discussing women and the economy.  Here are some of the facts we should know about:

… low-income women and women of color … face multiple barriers to economic security: race, gender and class.

Today, despite decades of struggle for job access and pay equity, women are paid 77 cents for each dollar a man makes; the disparity is worse for African-American women, who earn 62 cents, and Latinas, who earn 53 cents.

Nearly 10.5 million women are single parents (as compared with 2.5 million single fathers). For them, opting out for any reason — like motherhood or education — is not viable.

.Sara K. Gould/President and Chief Executive/Ms. Foundation for Women

To the Editor:

These women (single women who are heads of household) have about one-half the income and less than one-third the wealth of other households. They make up 62 percent of the 5.8 million American families with children in poverty and are more likely to hold subprime mortgages. Many women from this category would like to leave the work force in order to take care of children or other family members but simply cannot afford to do so.

Linda Basch/President, National Council for Research on Women


To the Editor:

There is another compelling reason that women are leaving the work force: in addition to an unfriendly economy, many face a hostile work environment that fails to accommodate care-giving responsibilities.

Many women have jobs that do not offer paid sick days that we can use for ourselves or our children, no flextime, and only unpaid family and medical leave.

In addition, the Supreme Court took us backward last year in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company, which made it more difficult for victims of wage discrimination to win justice by limiting when lawsuits can be filed.

 Debra L. Ness/President, National Partnership for Women and Families



NOW invites you to take action now to get legislation through to help women and families.