This Friday marks the 91st anniversary of the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, granting women the full right to vote. Women’s Equality Day, celebrated on August 26th , commemorates this crucial achievement that took 72 years of persistent campaigning and, at the time, was revolutionary. Almost a century later, it’s an opportunity to celebrate women’s engagement in the public sphere and to take a good look at the work that remains to be done on the path to equality.
Despite women’s higher college graduation rates and the significant increase in labor force participation over the past decades, wage and income inequality remains. And the challenges of the Great Recession for all workers, including women, have undermined the prospects for accessing economic opportunity and security.
This week through a series of blog posts, we will examine various aspects of Women & the Economy in order to highlight the challenges women face in the labor market and in building wealth and opportunity for their families and in their communities.
Among the data points that we will explore are:
- The Great Recession has seen a greater decline in women’s labor force participation and recent public sector layoffs have had a significant impact on women.
- In North Carolina, women with a graduate or professional degree earn less than a men with B.A.s.
- 828,000 women in North Carolina lived in poverty in 2009.
- Two-thirds of caregivers nationwide are women and the vast majority are working at least part-time leading to a need for balancing family and work.