Quick Hit – Gender Inequality and Income

A recent article by Slate Magazine on gender inequality and income depicts the states and counties where the income gap between men and women is the greatest and the smallest in America. The map depicts the median income of women compared to the median income of men and is measured in how many cents per dollar that women make in comparison to men. The article states that the average income for women is 72 cents per dollar of what a man makes.

Slate also reports that even though women make less in all states than men, some states have moved closer to income equality than others. The state with the greatest income gap is Utah (at 55 cent per every dollar), followed by Wyoming and Louisiana. In these states, women’s earnings do not reach 60 percent of men’s. The districts and cities where women’s earnings are around 80 percent of men’s include Washington D.C., Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

Even though we have moved away from many overtly sexist laws that increase and maintain gender inequality, such as restricting women’s rights to own property, women’s right to vote, to attend college, or the marriage bars that banned married women from employment and single women from work once they married, gender inequality is very much alive and well, and women are literally paying the price.

Photo of map depicting the United States of America uploaded by Flickr user Marxchivist and shared under a creative commons license. 

A Wave of State Leglislation Seeks to Counter Health Care Reform

State legislators in Arizona are unabashedly anti-health care and anti-choice. The state’s governor, Jan Brewer, joined with 26 other state attornies general to challenge the health care reform bill, arguing that the bill violates states’ rights to determine health care policies for their constituents. Nevermind the fact that the state of Arizona has no money, and the health care reform bill would provide much needed funding for the state.

In addition to the class action lawsuit, the state legislature decided to tack an amendment onto a bill currently working its way through the legislature that would eliminate abortion coverage for state employees. The new amendment to SB1305 would also eliminate abortion coverage in any of the insurance exhange programs created by federal health care reform, and would require women to purchse an abortion ryder if they wanted to have insurance coverage for abortion.

Hold the phone! If we’re going to talk about the constitutionality of health care reform, let’s not forget about the 14th amendment, which requires equal protection under the law. Requiring female patients to pay more money for their health care insurance seems like a clear violation of the constitution to me. But Arizona’s legislators seem more concerned about the 2nd amendment (they voted to allow guns in bars and on college campuses), or the 10th amendment (states’ rights). All the other amendments are extraneous in their eyes. [Read more...]