Employment & Unemployment

Women continue to lag behind men in earnings and wages. The underlying reasons for these continuing disparities are cultural, social and economic. While unemployment rates for women have declined less for women than for men during the recent economic downturn, women are still apt to have lower-paying jobs, with fewer benefits, and more part-time and interrupted careers. As the jobless rate for men rises, women are increasingly becoming primary breadwinners for their families, often without increased access to child care, elder care and help with domestic chores and other key supports.

IWPR Fact Sheet: "Maternity Leave in the United States: Paid Parental Leave is Still Not Standard, Even Among the Best U.S. Employers,"

IWPR Fact Sheet: "Maternity Leave in the United States: Paid Parental Leave is Still Not Standard, Even Among the Best U.S. Employers," Vicky Lovell, Elizabeth O'Neill, and Skylar Olsen, 2007.


Parents as Child Care Providers: A Menu of Parental Leave Models, May 2009


Institute for Women’s Policy Research

IWPR calculated the cost of providing paid sick time based on the provisions of the new proposed New York City Paid Sick Days law. The findings and details of the methodology used will be released in a forthcoming IWPR publication that will be made available on the IWPR website. September, 2009

Report: “Climbing the Ladder: How to Invest in New Jersey’s Working Families,”

Produced with partner organization, NJ Policy Perspective as part of The Working Poor Families Project (WPFP), a national initiative aimed at assessing state policies and programs designed to help low-income working families achieve economic security.


Report: “Women Hard Hit by the Worsening Economy Need Targeted Assistance” July 2008


IWPR Fact Sheet: “The Gender Wage Gap: 2007” (n.a.) 2008.


“Improving Pay Equity Would Mean Great Gains for Women,” by Heidi Hartmann, 2008.


“Unemployment Among Single Mother Families”, September, 2009.

The fact sheet shows both a high rate of unemployment among single mothers and substantial growth in their rate of unemployment since April, 2009. The fact sheet concludes suggesting that a number of changes in policy and practice are needed to improve women's earnings and the ability to combine work and family in the United States.


The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC)


WOMEN’S EQUALITY FORUM: Looking back and moving forward

By Terry O’Neill*

Today, August 26, marks the anniversary of the end of the 72-year fight for women’s right to vote. That’s right – our forebears faced 72 years of ridicule, ostracism, abuse, imprisonment … and also hope, determination, courage, and eventually, victory.

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