Equal Pay Day: An Opportunity To Reflect On Inequity Facing Unmarried Women

Our guest bloggers are Page Gardner, President of Women’s Voices. Women Vote and John Podesta, President of the Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Today is “Equal Pay Day,” the point at which women catch up to what men earned in the previous year – time for what sadly has become an annual reminder of how large a pay inequity exists in today’s workplace for women. The problem is worst of the worst for unmarried women.

A new report for Women’s Voices, Women Vote Unmarried Women and Income Disparity, finds that a typical unmarried woman would have to work until September 27 of the following year to earn as much as a man, and earns only 56 cents to his dollar. The study finds unmarried women are forced to do the same as unmarried men and married couples – pay the rent, buy the groceries, save for the future – on their own, but with much less.

WVWV and the Center for American Progress Action fund recently released a policy agenda for unmarried women: Overlooked So Far: The Nations Unmarried Women in 2008. In preparing the agenda, we learned the policy initiatives of unmarried women are driven by their purse, with equal pay for equal work, increasing the minimum wage, and health care topping their greatest concerns.