…when women and girls prosper, communities flourish. The Economic Status of Women Prepared by Jen Euell Program Director Women’s Foundation of Montana "History is herstory too." - Anonymous A Short History of American Women and Labor • 1765 -The first society of working women, the Daughters of Liberty is formed. • 1824 -Women workers strike for the first time, in Pawtucket, Rhode Island. • 1825 -The first union for women only formed: The United Tailoresses of New York. • 1872 - Congress passes a law giving women federal employee equal pay for equal work. • 1916 - Jeannette Rankin (R-MT) became the first women elected to the United States House of Representatives. Ms. Rankin served two terms in the House from (1916-1918 and (1940-1942). • 1917 - During WWI women's wartime work in heavy industry and public service jobs expanded women's roles in society. • 1920- The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution became law, and women could vote in the fall elections. • 1920 - The Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor is formed to collect information about women in the workforce and safeguard good working conditions for women. • 1941 - The shortage of workers caused by WWII opens a wide range of high-paying jobs to women. Almost seven million women enter the workforce, including two million in heavy industry. • 1961- President John Kennedy establishes the President's Commission on the Status of Women and appoints Eleanor Roosevelt as chairwoman. The report issued by the Commission in 1963 documents substantial discrimination against women in the workplace and makes specific recommendations for improvement, including fair hiring practices, paid maternity leave, and affordable child care. • 1963 - Congress passes the Equal Pay Act, making it illegal for employers to pay a woman less than what a man would receive for the same job. • 1964 - Title VII of the Civil Rights Act bars discrimination in employment on the basis of race and sex. • 1999 - The Supreme Court rules in Kolstad v. American Dental Association that a woman can sue for punitive damages for sex discrimination. • 2009 - President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which allows victims of pay discrimination to file a complaint with the government against their employer within 180 days of their last paycheck. • Congress has yet to ratify CEDAW (The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women). American Women Today • Women are marrying later and have fewer children than in the past. • Although more adult women live in married couple families than in any other living arrangement, an ever growing number of women are raising children without a spouse. • More women are remaining childless, although eight out of ten adult women have children. • As the baby boom generation ages, a growing share of women and men are older. • The participation of women in the workforce rose dramatically through the mid-1990s, but has been relatively constant since then. • Workforce participation among men has declined, but women are still less likely to work in the paid labor force than are men. When women do work, they are much more likely than men to work part-time. • Women continue to spend more of their time in household activities or caring for other family members; they also do more unpaid volunteer work than men. • Despite their gains in labor market experience and in education, women still earn less than men. • Women are more likely to live in poverty than are adult men. Single mother families face particularly high poverty rates, often because of the lower wages earned by women in these families. The Geography of Income 2010 Economic Indicators for Women • • • • • Median Annual Earnings = $36,000 Percent of Women in the Labor Force = 59.3% Percent of Women in Professional Positions = 39.4% Percent of Businesses that are Women-Owned = 28.7% Percent of Women with a 4-year College Degree or Higher = 27.9% • Percent of Women Living Above the Poverty Level = 84.9% • Percent of Women with Health Insurance = 81% The Gender Earnings Ratio, 1955–2011, Full-Time Workers The Economic Status of Women in Montana • Rural • Traditionally Dominated by Extractive Industry and Agriculture The Pay Gap • In the United States, women’s wages continue to lag behind men’s • Montana women’s earn an average of $31,137, the 4th lowest in the nation Poverty • Montanans are more likely to be poor, compared with the rest of the nation, and women are more likely to be poor than men • 42.5% of Montana children living in a household headed by a lone mother live in poverty Education • Women’s increased education does not necessarily translate to higher earnings, compared with male earnings. • Women with a high school education earn less than men without, and the same is true for each level of education, with the exception of a doctorate. . The Cost of Childcare • Although the income of Montana’s women is the fourth lowest in the United States, the cost of child care is the 22nd highest • the average annual cost of child care for one child in Montana is approximately $8,000, more than half the poverty threshold for a one-parent, one-child family of $15,825 Access to Healthcare • Statewide, Montana ranks close to the national percentage: 19% of women are without health insurance • Forty-nine percent of Montana women live in counties that lack safe abortion services compared with 35% of women nationally Safety Elderly In Montana • Older women are more reliant on Social Security and more likely to be living in poverty • Montana men 65 and older, living alone, have a median income of $22,800, with Social Security representing about 53% of their income, Montana women elders live on $17,700, and Social Security is 72% of this The Status of American Indian Women • American Indian women fare worse on virtually every indicator American Indian Women • 34% percent of American Indian and Alaska Native women will be raped in their lifetimes and 39% of American Indian and Alaska Native women will be subjected to domestic violence in their lifetimes • American Indian women have a greater incidence of high blood pressure, a major risk factor for heart disease, stroke and heart failure • 17% of American Indian women obtain their bachelor’s degree, compared with over 20% of the total Montana population. The Good News……. • Montana women are educated • Montana women vote • Montana women lead What We Can Do • Regularly evaluate wages and promotion practices • Better policies and benefits for women workers • Encourage women to move into “nontraditional” work • Invest in financial education and wage negotiation training for women • Increase resources for women in business and entrepreneurship • Recruit women to run for office What the WFM Will Do • Research and educate on the economic barriers and opportunities for women & girls • Convene strategic partners to create solutions and advocate for social and systemic change • Connect women and organizations with resources and information • Foster leadership among women and girls • Raise funds and grow our endowment in support of women and girls What You Can Do • • • • • Consider women’s issues when you vote Invest in organizations that support women Organize, advocate, lobby! Learn to negotiate for your own best pay Leadership starts with you! Run!