Women have the right to vote, but still don’t get equal pay for equal work

August 26, 2017 by
Sarah Austin

Sarah Austin

Today marks the anniversary of the 19th Amendment which granted white women the constitutional right to vote. The Equal Pay Act of 1963, Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 are just some of the laws that have extended protections against

discrimination for women since the passage of the 19th amendment. Yet, there is still more progress to be made if women are to have equal opportunity and economic security.

Significant disparities still exist between the wages of men and women. In Maine, women make 79 cents per dollar earned by their male counterparts. This disparity has slowly decreased in Maine, but not entirely due to rising incomes among women.  Women’s wages have predominately been stagnant, and declining male earnings have narrowed the gap as some industries traditionally dominated by men have eroded.

Source: MECEP analysis of US Census Bureau, American Community Survey data. 1 year estimates, 2005-15. Comparative earnings are for full-time, full-year workers.

Source: MECEP analysis of US Census Bureau, American Community Survey data. 1 year estimates, 2005-15. Comparative earnings are for full-time, full-year workers.

That said, industries in Maine with higher representation of women workers, like teaching and nursing, have less of a pay discrepancy between male and female workers. But in industries more dominated by male workers, women workers are paid less equally.

Source: MECEP analysis of US Census Bureau, American Community Survey data. 1 year estimates, 2005-15. Comparative earnings are for full-time, full-year workers. Each data point represents one of the US Department of Labor's major occupation groups.

Source: MECEP analysis of US Census Bureau, American Community Survey data. 1 year estimates, 2005-15. Comparative earnings are for full-time, full-year workers. Each data point represents one of the US Department of Labor’s major occupation groups.

At the current pace, Maine women won’t see equal pay for equal work until 2057. Despite significant advances in civil rights, women still face economic inequality. That’s why the Maine Center of Economic Policy, on this anniversary of the 19th Amendment, calls for Congressional action to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, which will improve employment and economic security of women nationwide by granting constitutional protections against employment and paycheck discrimination for all women.

 

 

 

Leave a Comment