The sorry state of America’s working women 


The sorry state of America’s working women – CBS News



On International Women’s Day, it’s worth asking how American working women are doing compared with their counterparts in other developed countries.

The answer: not great.

On a number of fronts, American women who work outside the home are lagging their counterparts in countries such as Sweden, Mexico, Italy and Greece. U.S. women suffer from a gender wage gap that’s wider than in those and 17 other countries, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Every developed country offers paid parental leave — except for the U.S. And a smaller share of American women are even in the workforce than their peers in developed countries such as Canada and Germany, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

A strike designed to coincide with International Women’s Day aims to draw notice to the problems facing women who work both in and outside the home. Called “A Day Without a Woman,” the March 8 strike is asking women to abstain from both paid and unpaid labor, with the latter representing what was termed “The Second Shift” in a 1989 book about how women face an unpaid shift of labor when they arrive home from their jobs.

While the strike has noble goals, it’s the type of gesture that may be practical for only higher-paid women in secure jobs. Lower-paid women in hourly jobs may not be able to afford to forgo a day’s wage or might fear losing their jobs.


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