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What I Want for National Work and Family Month: Schedules that Work!

Posted by Liz Watson, Senior Counsel and Director of Workplace Justice for Women | Posted on: October 31, 2014 at 01:30 pm

As we close out National Work & Family month, it’s a good time to take stock of the strides made so far this year in the fight for fair schedules for working families. July saw the introduction of the federal Schedules that Work Act which would provide workers with more predictable and stable schedules, as well as a say in when they work. San Francisco stepped up to the plate next, with the Retail Workers Bill of Rights which would ensure fair scheduling practices and stable incomes for employees in the city’s chain fast food restaurants and retail stores. And earlier this summer, New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer held a public forum on workers’ need for a voice in their schedules. Not to be outdone, a state senator in Michigan just introduced a fair scheduling bill [PDF] a couple of weeks ago.

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Closing the Education Gap for Girls of Color

Posted by Adaku Onyeka-Crawford, Fellow | Posted on: October 28, 2014 at 02:00 pm

On Tuesday, the Center for American Progress and AAUW released a new fact sheet that explores the educational achievement gap between boys and girls — particularly girls of color. The fact sheet shows that according to national assessment scores, just 15 percent of black, female eighth-graders are proficient in math, compared to 20 percent of Hispanic girls and 44 percent of white girls in the same grade. The fact sheet highlights how rigorous standards included in the Common Core State Standards can raise educational achievement and ensure all students — regardless of race, gender or background — are college-ready.

While the fact sheet focuses on educational disparities in STEM courses (i.e., science, technology, engineering and mathematics), data shows that African American girls fall below the national average for girls on almost every measure of academic achievement according to Unlocking Opportunity for African American Girls: A Call for Educational Equity, a recent report from the National Women's Law Center and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

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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 09:59 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 02:33 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 11:34 am

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 12:28 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 12:50 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 12:12 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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