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D.C. and California Show Striking Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Gender Wage Gaps

Posted by | Posted on: October 23, 2014 at 10:59 am

We spent this morning crunching some newly released Census data on the gender wage gap in earnings for African American women and Latinas working full time, year round as compared to white, non-Hispanic men in all 50 states and D.C.  What we found is deeply troubling and makes clear that looking at the gender wage gap for women overall often hides striking inequalities.

Here are some of our key findings:

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Turning the Corner on Child Care Assistance — But Still A Long Way to Go

Posted by Karen Schulman, Senior Policy Analyst | Posted on: October 22, 2014 at 03:33 pm

Families in thirty-three states were better off—having greater access to child care assistance to help pay for care and/or receiving greater benefits from assistance—in February 2014 than in February 2013 under one or more key child care assistance policies, according to a new report by the National Women’s Law Center. The report, Turning the Corner: State Child Care Assistance Policies 2014, also found that families in thirteen states were worse off under one or more of these policies in February 2014 than in February 2013.

This year is the second year in a row in which the situation for families improved in more states than it worsened. And it represents a turnaround from the previous two years, when the situation worsened for families in more states than it improved. However, the improvements states made between 2013 and 2014 were generally modest and families still lack the help they need to afford reliable, good-quality care.

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A Second Look Through the Rear Window

Posted by Alicia Gurrieri, Program Assistant | Posted on: October 21, 2014 at 12:34 pm

I'm a sucker for old movies. It's one of the only ways I can get that satisfying sense of cultural enrichment while sitting on a couch eating tasty treats. It’s like getting a history lesson without having to do any work. When I was in high school, my dad and I would watch them together and discuss how social values have changed.

I recently needed my old movie fix, so I popped in Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window. For those of you who haven’t yet seen Rear Window, it is basically about a dude named LB Jefferies who breaks his leg being his daring, bold self. He spends his wheel-chair-confined recovery spying on his neighbors. His debatably obsessive watch on his neighbors begs the audience (and characters) to question the line between private and public space and personal responsibility over other’s lives.

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The Texas Abortion Law's "Undo"able Burden

Posted by Hannah-Alise Rogers, Intern | Posted on: October 17, 2014 at 01:28 pm

On Tuesday, the United States Supreme Court temporarily blocked parts of the recent Texas law that had closed all but eight abortion clinics in the state. The order allows clinics to remain open while the case moves through the courts.

While the Supreme Court’s intervention in the case is a hopeful sign, we need to keep in mind that abortion opponents aren’t giving up. Just last week, Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott defended the law by saying, “[T]he vast majority of Texans” still live “within comfortable driving distance (150 miles)” of an abortion clinic. In commenting on women who live in more rural areas, Mr. Abbott promised, “Abortion can be accessed by driving approximately 230–250 miles — an inconvenience, but still a manageable one.”  

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Poverty Among Seniors is Dramatically Higher Under the Supplemental Poverty Measure

Posted by Joan Entmacher, Vice President for Family Economic Security | Posted on: October 16, 2014 at 01:50 pm

For anyone who thinks that poverty among seniors is a thing of the past, the data released this morning by the U.S. Census Bureau should serve as a wake-up call.

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Today's Lesson: Inequality

Posted by Gail Zuagar, Outreach Associate | Posted on: October 16, 2014 at 01:12 pm

I remember learning about inequality in math class back in the day. I’m sure you remember too—the lessons usually involved Pac-Man—and the terms “greater than” and “less than”. 

I encountered mathematical inequalities again when I taught them to my third graders. But since becoming a part of the team at the National Women’s Law Center, I’ve learned a lot about the other types of inequality in schools. Unfortunately, it’s no math lesson—and too many African American girls are on the “less than” side of it.

Our new report: Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls: A Call to Action for Educational Equity describes the barriers that African American girls encounter in school and the educational and employment outcomes that stem from these barriers. Unlocking Opportunity also offers recommendations for addressing these barriers and changing these outcomes.

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5 Public Programs that Lifted Millions of Women and Children Out of Poverty in 2013

Posted by Anne Morrison, Fellow | Posted on: October 16, 2014 at 12:16 pm

In 2013, Social Security kept 12.0 million women and 1.2 million children out of poverty.

This new statistic can be calculated based on data released today by the Census Bureau. Also part of the release of new data is a report on the supplemental poverty measure (SPM) [PDF] which takes into account the impact of public programs, as well as medical out-of-pocket and other expenses on families’ economic security. (For more about poverty measurement, see our FAQ.)

This past September, the Census Bureau released the official poverty numbers for 2013, which showed that women’s poverty remained historically high, with 18.0 million women (14.5 percent) in poverty. Our report detailed what the numbers looked like and the trends over time. But what we didn’t get to see in that data was how many people’s incomes were pulled above the poverty line by specific public programs, some of which are counted in the official poverty measure and some of which aren’t. Today, we can delve deeper into how many people were lifted out of poverty by these programs and who they were.

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The Hobby Lobby Decision Takes a Fundamentally Flawed Approach to Reproductive Health

Posted by Sharon Levin, Director of Federal Reproductive Health Policy | Posted on: October 16, 2014 at 10:50 am

It is hard to underestimate the potential impact of the Supreme Court’s decision Burwell v. Hobby Lobby on women’s equality. That is the case in which the Court held that some for-profit corporations could refuse to provide health insurance coverage of birth control for their employees despite the federal contraceptive coverage law that required it. The Court’s decision, at heart, is rooted in a very old and very outdated misunderstanding about women. And that is the idea that women’s reproductive health is somehow “extra,” “different,” or “separate.” This fundamentally wrong assumption about women’s reproductive health has been used for ages to take away women’s rights. By reinforcing this dangerous approach to women’s reproductive health, the Court has put all aspects of women’s rights at risk. Here’s how it works:

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