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Facts About Women and the Minimum Wage

Filed in Minimum Wage, Women By on March 19, 2015

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When it comes to the minimum wage, far too many working women in this country deserve a raise. Women account for less than half of the U.S. working population, yet nearly 6 in 10 workers earning the minimum wage are women. Many are working full time and are the sole breadwinners for their families – bringing in earnings of less than $15,000 a year. Consider this: a family of four trying to get by on that income is living 17 percent below the poverty line, even with tax credits. That’s unacceptable.

It’s time to raise the national minimum wage. More than half of those who would benefit are women – about a third of them have children. In fact, of the 2.8 million working single parents that would benefit, more than 80 percent are women. And research shows that raising the minimum wage reduces child poverty among female-headed households. Raising the wage makes sense as a way to reward work and give workers a lift towards the middle class.

Congress last acted to raise the national minimum wage in 2007. Since then, the cost for the basics — food, housing, utilities, transportation, child care and more — has gone up. Low-wage workers in this country, most of them women, are working harder and harder but falling further and further behind.

From Mother Jones and Frances Perkins, to Addie Wyatt, Esther Peterson and Dolores Huerta, women have been fighting for better working conditions in the U.S. for generations. During Women’s History Month, it’s important that we remind ourselves of the cause to which they dedicated their lives. We must continue their efforts and push to better the wages and working conditions for women in this country. Millions of women are depending on it.

Tania Mejia is a special assistant in the Office of Public Affairs.

Mujeres y el Salario Mínimo

Cuando se trata del salario mínimo, demasiadas mujeres que trabajan en este país merecen un aumento de sueldo. Las mujeres representan menos de la mitad de los trabajadores en Estados Unidos pero casi 6 de cada 10 trabajadores que ganan salario mínimo son mujeres. Muchas están trabajando a tiempo completo y son el único apoyo económico de sus familias -con ingresos anuales de menos de $15,000. Considere esto: una familia de cuatro personas tratando de salir adelante con esos ingresos vive un 17 por ciento por debajo de la línea de la pobreza, incluso con créditos fiscales. Eso es inaceptable.

Es hora de aumentar el salario mínimo nacional. Más de la mitad de los que se beneficiarán son mujeres –y alrededor de un tercio de ellas tienen hijos. De hecho, más del 80 por ciento de los 2.8 millones de padres solteros trabajadores que se beneficiarán son mujeres. Y estudios muestran que el aumento del salario mínimo reduce la pobreza infantil en los hogares encabezados por mujeres. Aumentar el salario tiene sentido como una forma de recompensar el trabajo y de dar a los trabajadores la oportunidad de acceder la clase media.

La última vez que el Congreso actuó para aumentar el salario mínimo nacional fue en 2007. Desde entonces, el costo las necesidades básicas – comida, vivienda, servicios públicos, transporte, cuidado de niños y más – ha subido. Los trabajadores de bajos salarios en este país, la mayoría mujeres, están trabajando más y más duro pero cada vez se están quedando más y más atrás.

Desde Mother Jones y Frances Perkins a Addie Wyatt, Esther Peterson y Dolores Huerta, mujeres han estado luchando por generaciones por mejores condiciones laborales en EE.UU. Durante el Mes de la Historia de la Mujer, es importante que recordemos la causa a la que dedicaron sus vidas. Debemos continuar sus esfuerzos y seguir luchando para mejorar los salarios y las condiciones laborales de todas mujeres en este país. Millones de mujeres dependen de ello.

Comments (2)

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  1. Dorothy Holton says:

    Thank you for the article and video..during women’s history..achievements…month. Kudos! Please keep up the fight for all women’should rights, and our future women! Things have to change, sooner, than later! It is very hard to raise our families in this country and not any perks for mother’s who raise their children alone, as I had done. I think all single mothers should start a GROUP SAVINGS ACCOUNT…PENSION FUND and EMERGENCY FUND…to be able to request funds from, etc.!!! An idea I’ve had for awhile now!!! I have voiced it to the younger generation when I could.
    A lot of mom’said are without pensions, etc., and “LEFT” by father’s to fend for themselves!!! WRONG!! I felt/feel like I served my children and raised great citizens…pension for me!? OTHERS?? Better..maternity leaves in the USA, and gaunteed jobs for at least 6 months with pay! FAMILIES and CHILDREN aren’t really valued enough and raising them, Daycare, etc. THOUGHTS ON ALL???

  2. JB says:

    I am one of those women with a college degree and over 30 years experience in my field, still cannot make more than around $10-15 an hour. Gotta be a better way. Raise the minimum wage now.