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From Your (Wo)manInWashington blog
MOTHERS changing the conversation @

March 8 was the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, when our social, political, and economic progress is celebrated all over the world. Truly, our achievements are significant, and we owe the potential of our lives to many committed and visionary women of the past. And yet...women's lack of full, equal engagement in all aspects of society continues to weigh us down, and limit the realization of hopes for our families, our children, and ourselves.

Last week the White House offered up a stack of data on women in the U.S., pulling on data from a range of federal agencies. It is the first federal report in 40 years to analyze the social and economic status of women. (You'd think we'd get more attention, being half the population, and the only gender to give birth and all, but no.) It is intended for the general public - you don't have to be an economist, a sociologist, or a lawyer to understand it. Here are a few highights:

  • U.S. women outnumber U.S. men by 4 million, or 51%. So, congratulations. We've proved that there is nothing we can't do and nothing we can't learn, even while bearing children, running the household, and preparing the next generation of citizens, workers, and parents. The only thing we haven't proved is that we can get paid fairly for it. Happy International Women's Day to you. Now, let's get back to work...
  • We are waiting longer to marry, have children, and are having fewer children.
  • More of us are deciding not to marry and not to have children at all.
  • Teen pregnancy has decreased, going from 1/3 of all births in 1970 to 1/5 now.
  • We are better educated than men, earning more academic degrees including Ph.D.s.
  • We are about 1/2 of the work force and earn 1/3 of the total household income.
  • More than 2/3 of mothers with children under 18 in the home are employed.
  • We spend more of our time caring for our families and doing housework than men.
  • Men spend more time engaging in sports and leisure activities than women.
  • Women do more volunteer work than men.
  • At all levels of education, full-time female workers earn only 75% of what men do.

'Til next time,
Your (Wo)Man in Washington

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