Closing the Gender Gap: Miles to Go
- In the United States, single-parent households are the most likely to be poor. A snapshot from the National Center for Law and Economic Justice for 2011 reports 34.2 percent of single-parent homes headed by females were poor, compared to 16.5 percent of those headed by males. During that time, more than 5 million more women than men lived in poverty.
- U.S. Census figures also show that women are still earning an average of 77 cents on the dollar compared to wages for men. Between 2010 and 2011, the number of men working full time increased by 1.7 million, compared to 0.5 million women.
- Although women account for a little over 50 percent of the U.S. population, only 19 percent of our representatives in Congress are women. Women make up nearly half the labor force but they still only hold 4.2 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions.
We have miles yet to go.
- Globally, women make up 45 percent of the world’s workforce, yet they are 70 percent of the world’s poor.
- In impoverished nations, girls are less likely than boys to receive a basic education and globally, 584 million women are illiterate.
- The World Economic Forum has reported that 82 out of the 132 countries improved economic equality between 2011 and 2012, but globally only 60 percent of the gender gap has been closed.
We have miles yet to go.
Each new policy that supports full inclusion and equality as it related to economics, politics, education, and health are mile markers on the road toward closing the gender gap. Closing the gender gap is part of the journey to end hunger. In the United States, policy is influenced and driven by the will of the people through exercising our voting rights. A day that reminds us how precious that right is, especially for women, is a good day to remember how powerful our voice as faithful advocates can be.
Part of the process to build the political will to end hunger includes keeping our legislators accountable, which is why Bread for the World has created the 2013 midyear voting scorecard. For Christians, voting is part of the work we do to realize a just and equitable society where every man, woman and child has enough to eat.
Photo: Heather Rude-Turner, 31, kisses her daughter Naomi, 5, after attending church, October 2, 2011. (Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World).
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