Women & Work in the U.S.
Women & Domestic Violence
Women & Art
Women & Welfare
Women & Prison
Women & Work in the U.S.
Unless otherwise noted, facts in this section come from Women's Action
Stats: The Facts About Women (New York: The New Press, 1993).
1999 Annual Median Earnings
by all men
|1999 Median Annual Earnings by all
1999 U.S. Wage
- 37 years after passage of the Equal Pay Act, Women still get paid
about 75 cents to men's dollar
- In real terms, that means that women had to work 17 extra weeks
in 2000 to earn what men earned in 1999 alone. That is why President
Clinton designated May 11, 2000 Equal Pay Day.
- And even that sad marker does not apply to all women. Black women
will not reach their Equal Pay Day until July. And Hispanic women
will have to wait for late October of 2000 for our Equal Pay Day.
- While women have been entering high-paying non-traditional fields
in increasing numbers, men still outnumber us by more than 2 to 1
in many high-tech occupations - occupations that pay about 80% above
the average jobs.
- And according to Catalyst, a women's advocacy group, women still
make up only 11.9% of corporate officers at America's top 500 firms.
- This is not just a "women's" issue - it affects whole families.
Nearly one in five U.S. families are headed by a single woman, and
more than 7 out of 10 women with children work.
- The problem does not end when a woman stops working. The average
retiring woman can expect about half the pension benefits of the average
retiring man. That's if she gets a pension at all - which less than
half as many women as men do.
- The poverty rate among elderly women is about twice the rate for
people over 65 generally.
Irasema T. Garza, U.S. Women's Bureau Director. Speech before
the National Association of Commissions for Women (NACW) 31st Annual
Convention in San Francisco, CA on July 6, 2000
Top 5 Reasons Why Retirement is a Challenge for U.S. Women
- Nearly three out of four working women earn less than $30,000 per
- Nearly nine out of ten working women earn less than $45,000.
- Half of all women work in traditionally female, relatively low paid
jobs without pensions.
- Women retirees receive only half the average pension benefits that
- Women's earnings average $.72 for every $1 earned by men - a lifetime
loss of over $250,000.
for a Secure Retirement
The U.S. Wage Gap Over Time
Reading the wage gap:
There are two things to notice in looking at this information. The
first is the actual wage gap, the difference between men's earnings
and women's earnings. The second is whether the wage gap is growing
or shrinking over time, determined by the rate of increase or decrease
of men's and women's earnings. Three examples will help clarify these
At the start of our data, the wage gap was approximately eleven thousand
dollars. The bold lines shown in area 1 show the approximate change
in men's and women's earnings over a period of about ten years, from
the early sixties to around 1970. Although women's earnings was increasing
over this period of time, men's earnings was increasing by a greater
amount, shown by the difference in steepness between the two lines.
This resulted in a widening of the wage gap.
From the late seventies to the late eighties, shown in area 2, the wage
gap narrowed not because the women's earnings increased by a
greater amount but because men's earnings decreased over this
period of time. Women's earnings were actually increasing at a smaller
rate than in earlier decades.
The wage gap reached its smallest amount in 1994 at around 9700 dollars
at which point the decrease in men's earnings changed to an increase.
Based on the amount of data that we have it appears that the wage gap
is now in the process of widening again as men's earnings are increasing
now at a faster rate than women's earnings. This is shown in area 3
by the projections for the next ten years shown by dotted lines.
--Chart and interpretation by Ken Carrizosa, Ph.D. cand.
*sixth order polynomial curve approximation based on
data from National Committee on Pay Equity)
Women & Work --fact sheets
Unless otherwise noted, facts in this section come from Women's Action
Coalition, WAC Stats: The Facts About Women (New York: The New
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Women & Welfare in
Why every woman in America should beware
of welfare cuts.
Welfare is the ultimate security policy for every woman in America.
Like accident or life insurance, you hope you’ll never need it.
But for yourself and your family, sisters, daughters and friends,
you need to know it's there. Without it, we have no real escape
from brutal relationships or any protection in a job market hostile
to women with children. Why is Congress trying to take it away?
Ten Facts most American don’t know about welfare.
A war against poor women is a war against all women.
- Only 6% of welfare mothers are teenagers. Less than 3%
of poor families are headed by women younger than 19.
- The typical welfare family includes a mother and two children,
about the same as the average American family.
- Welfare mothers on average receive $367 a month, even with food
stamps worth $295, this is still 31% below the poverty line for
a family of three. Benefits have about about a third of
their value since 1979.
- Welfare to single mothers makes up just 1% of the federal budget--3%
if food stamps are included,
- Thirty-eight percent of AFDC parents are white, 37% are African-American,
and 18% are Latino.
- Over 70% of women applying for welfare receive benefits for
less than two years; only 8% remain over eight years.
- More than 60% of AFDC families have a child younger than six.
Forty percent have a child younger than two.
- Full-time, year-round work at minimum wage puts a woman and
two children $3,000 below the poverty line-with no health care
- Unemployment hat steadily increased since World War II, while
unemployment benefits have decreased.
- Carefully conducted research has found that AFDC benefits do
not influence a never-married mother's decision to have a child;
nor do they influence mothers already on welfare to have additional
--from a paid advertisement in the New York Times, 8/8/95.
Cosponsored by 1199 National
Health & Human Service Employees Union, National Association
of Social Workers, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Catholics for
a Free Choice, American Postal Workers Union, AFL-CIO, Office &
Professional Employees International Union AFL-CIO, Welfare Reform
Network of New York, Ms. Foundation for Women, Feminist Majority,
Wider Opportunities for Women, Women & Poverty Project, Communications
Workers of America, Democratic Socialists of America, Women's Actions
for New Directions, National Committee on Pay Equity, United Farm
workers of America AFL-CIO, Center for Women Policy Studies, National
Council for Research on Women, National Jobs for All Coalition,
National Coalition for the Homeless, NOW Legal Defense & Education
Welfare concerns every woman
Welfare is a feminist issue because:
a) it concerns primarily women and children
b) it is about the value of women’s work, about the dignity of women
C) it says a lot about how we, as a country, care for children
d) it is not just about mothers and not just about poor people
e) it is about women as persons The welfare debate incorporates
many dominant cultural ideas about women
Racist stereotype: a young black woman, never-married, with six
or more children.
- As many white women on welfare as black (not all from poor backgrounds)
- Average size of female headed family has been decreasing since
the 1960s and is now at 2.9 - one woman and 1.9 children
- More than 40% of welfare mothers have only ONE child
- Average length of time on welfare is two years
- Until recently most welfare mothers were formerly married. There
has been an increase in never married. Is marriage really the answer
to the problems?
- AFDC is only 1% of the national budget
- Welfare payments are only a fraction of the nationally established
poverty level; the average payment is $367 per month.
Why, then, are we so unwilling to help women support their children?
- Foster mothers are paid from 3 to 8 times what a woman is given in
AFDC benefits to care for her own child.
- It costs taxpayers $200 per day (and anywhere from $27,000 to 75,000
per year) to keep a young criminal in jail.
- It costs taxpayers anywhere from $38,000 to 60,000 per year to keep
a child in an orphanage.
- A major reason women resort to welfare is non-payment of child support
by fathers. AFDC could be imagined as a subsidy of fathers, not a hand-out
to mothers. Why isn’t it?
- Child care is expensive and often inadequate or non-existent.
- Many women want to stay home with their infants and toddlers; this
option should be available to all--not just the rich with husbands to
support them,. It is important for children and their mothers. Part
time work options should be available along with income supplements.
--original handout by Carol Delaney,
Professor of Anthropology, Stanford
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Women & Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is defined as abuse committed against an adult or fully
emancipated minor who is a spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant,
or a person with whom the suspect has had a child or has or has had a
dating or engagement relationship.
In 1990, 195,019 domestic violence cases were reported to
the police in California. Of these, 7,781 were reported in Santa Clara
County. (Bureau of Criminal Statistics, Sacramento, CA, 1991.)
Domestic violence is the most prevalent violent crime in
California, with law enforcement agencies receiving 500 reports every
day. Yet, even the FBI estimates these reports underesti-mate actual cases
by one-tenth. (California Alliance Against Domestic Violence,
According to the FBI, as many as 6 million women are abused
by their partners each year. A woman is battered every 15 seconds.
(The California NOW Activist. November, 1991.)
One out of every two American can women will be physically
abused at some time in her relationship lifetime. (The Battered
Woman's Survival Guide, 1990.)
Battering is the major cause of serious injury to women
in America, more than auto accidents, muggings and rapes combined.
(The Lipman Report, The American Epidemic of Violence: A Major Security
Concern and Public Health Care Problem, December 15, 1985.)
Among all female victims of murders that police reported
to the Uniform Crime Report in 1989, 28% were believed to have been slain
by husbands or boyfriends. (U.S. Dept. of Justice, Female Victims
of Violent Crime. January, 1991.)
Women were victims of violent intimates at a rate 3 times
that of men. Women were 6 times more likely than men to be victimized
by a spouse, ex-spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend. (U.S. Dept.
of Justice, Female Victims of Violence Crime. January, 1991.)
A study by the March of Dimes reports that one of every
twelve women is battered while she is pregnant. Battered women are four
times more likely to have low birthweight babies and twice as likely to
miscarry compared with normal mothers. (The Battered Woman's Survival
info: Intimate Partner Violence (by National Institute of Justice/CDC)
Mid-Peninsula Support Network for Battered Women
(San Francisco Bay Area)
(415) 940-7855 24-hr. hotline
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Women & Prison
Women in prison are:
Young: 75% are between the ages of 25 and 34
Low Income: 50% lived below the poverty line and were unemployed
Women of Color: African-American women are 8 times more likely
to receive jail sentences than European-American women. In California,
the state with the largest population of women in prison, 46% are African
American and 30% are Latina.
Mothers: 78% are mothers of dependent children
Non Violent Offenders: 75% for non-violent offenses
Survivors of domestic or sexual abuse: Between 48% and 80% have
suffered from sexual abuse or abusive intimate relationships
Victims of Substance Abuse: 90% have a history of drug and/or alcohol
abuse. The main reason for the high increase in imprisonment of women
is the ‘war on drugs’
Mentally ill: Due to insufficient mental health services in the
community, massive incarceration of drug addicted women, the stresses
of incarceration including sexual abuse by guards.
- Approximately 138,000 women are incarcerated in US jails and prisons.
The number of US women inmates has more than tripled since 1985.
- About 40% of women in prison violated drug laws. About 25% are in
prison for committing a violent crime.
- Around 200,000 children under the age of 18 have an incarcerated
mother. 80,000 women in US prisons and jails are parents, many are single
parents. 1,300 babies were born to women in prison in 1997-98 and more
than 2,200 pregnant women were incarcerated.
- In 1996, only 47% of women received a medical exam to determine their
health status after being admitted to prison
- There are 138,000 women in state and federal prisons. In federal
women’s correctional facilities, 70% of guards are male.
- In 1994, the National Institute of Corrections stated that provision
of gynecological services for women in prison is inadequate. Only half
of the state prison systems surveyed offer female-specific services
such as mammograms and Pap smears, and it is not known how long an inmate
must wait to be seen.
- The number of prisoners with histories of drug abuse is growing but
the proportion of prisoners receiving treatment declined from 40% in
1991 to 18% in 1997
- Incarcerated women in U.S. prisons often suffer punishment far in
excess of their state imposed sentence. At the hands of correctional
officers they face widespread sexual abuse ranging from unauthorized
body frisks to rape.
- Thirteen states offer no legal protections for women against sexual
molestation and abuse: The following states have no law: Alabama; Kentucky;
Minnesota; Oregon; Utah; Vermont; Wisconsin The following states have
enacted laws since March 4, 1999: Massachusetts; Montana; Nebraska;
Virginia; Washington; West Virginia --Amnesty
- An African American woman is eight times more likely than a European
American woman to be imprisoned; Latina women experience nearly four
times the rates of incarceration as European American women. --National
Law Journal November 2, 1998
- From 1986 to 1996 the number of women sentenced to state prison for
drug crimes increased tenfold. Nationally one in three women in prison
and one in four women in jail are incarcerated for violating a drug
law. --Prisoners in 1997, Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice
- Among those arrested for violent crimes the proportion who are African
American have changed little. Among those arrested for drug offenses,
the proportion who are African American has tripled. The number of women
sentenced to a year or more of prison has grown twelvefold since 1970.
--Atlantic Monthly, Dec. 1998.
- Jurors in the US were polled as to what factors would make them most
biased against a defendant, and perceived sexual orientation was chosen
as the most likely personal characteristic to bias a juror against a
defendant, three times greater than race. --National Law Journal
November 2, 1998
IN THE PAST DECADE:
In the past decade, the female prison population has grown by 202%, the
male by 112%.
- There are 17 times more men than women in prison.
- 73% of women in prison are under 30 years of age.
- 66% of women in prison were unemployed before incarceration.
- 92% of women in prison had less than a $10,000 yearly income.
- 58% of women in prison have less than a 12th-grade education.
- 54% of women in prison are women of color.
- Over 80% of women in prison are mothers.
- 1 in 4 women entering prison is pregnant or has recently given birth.
- The percentage of women who give birth while in prison has been estimated
at 9%. However, the thousands of statistics published by the U.S. Department
of Justice include no information on prison births.
- New York is the only state that allows infants to stay in a prison
nursery with their mothers.
- In the U.S. there are 48,000 women in state and federal prisons and
another 42,000 in city and county jails, totaling 90,000 women in prison.
- The imprisonment of women has left an estimated 167,000 children
- Women in prisons and jails are diagnosed with HIV infection at twice
the rate of their male counterparts.
- Of the women incarcerated in New York, 80% are mothers, 80% have
substance abuse problems, 30% are homeless, and over 25% are HIV positive.
- Doctors are available to women in prison 2 days a week versus 5 days
a week for men.
- 5-10% of women in prison have VD or gynecological problems, though
there are no gynecologists available for female inmates.
- The federal prison system's only hospital for women, in Lexington,
Kentucky, does not employ a full-time obstetrician-gynecologist.
- Mood-altering drugs are prescribed 2-3 times more often for women
in prison than for men.
- Prison terms for killing husbands is twice as long as for killing
- 60% of all women in federal prisons have been convicted of drug-related
offenses. Estimates of the number that are indirectly drug related are
- 64% of women in prison are drug users, and 68% of these used drugs
daily before incarceration.
- One study found that 93% of the women who had killed their mates
had been battered by them; 67% indicated the homicide resulted from
an attempt to protect themselves and their children.
- Of 2,589 death-row inmates in the U.S., 41 are women, and over a
third of the women are lesbians.
- 10% of street gangs are girls; there are an estimated 7,000 girl
gang members in the U.S.
 "An Unequal Justice," New York Times, July 10, 1992
 National Coalition for Jail Reform, Washington D.C.
 "Women: The Road Ahead," Time, Special Issue, Fall 1990
 U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Statistics, 1988
 Anne Campbe3ll, "The Girl in the Gang," cited in June Stephenson,
Men Are Not Cost Effective: Male Crime in America, Diemer Smith Publishing,
 "20/20," ABC-TV, August 4, 1992
 "Dykes on Death Row," Village Voice, October 5, 1992
 "U.S. Prisons Challenged by women behind Bars," New York Times,
November 30, 1992
 Jean Harris, "The Babies of Bedford," New York Times Magazine,
March 28, 1993
 "Hoppier Home," Women's Prison Association, New York, 1992.
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Women & Art
51.2% of all artists in the U.S.
are women 
30.7% of all photographers are women 
90% of all artist's models are women 
67% of bachelor degrees in Fine Arts go to women 
46% of bachelor degrees in Photography go to women 
65% of bachelor degrees in Painting go to women 
60% of MFAs in Fine Arts go to women 
55% of MFAs in Painting go to women 
47% of MFAs in Photography go to women 
59% of Ph.D.s in Fine Arts go to women.
66.5% of Ph.D.s in Art History go to women.
59% of trained artists and art historians are women.
33% of art faculty are women.
5% of works in museums are by women.
17% of works in galleries are by women.
26% of artists reviewed in art periodicals are women.
Women artists' income is 30% that of male artists'.
30% of Guggenheim grants go to women.
42% of $5,000 NEA grants go to women.
33% of $10,000 NEA grants go to women.
29% of $15,000 NEA grants go to women.
25% of $25,000 NEA grants go to women.
Of the art commissioned by the Department of Cultural Affairs Percent
for Art Program in New York City, 70% have been artists of color, 41%
women, 39% of the 41% women of color.
Of the 1992 New York Foundation for the Arts awards given, women received
53.4%, men received 46.6%.
Of the world's top 200 collectors, approximately 128 are male, 52 are
male-female couples, and 20 are female.
7 of 36 one-person museum exhibitions in the 1991-92 New York season were
 1990 Statistical Abstract of
the United States.
 Eleanor Dickenson, "Gender Discrimination in the Art World,"
paper prepared for the College Art Association, Coalition of Women, Februarv
15,1990, New York.
 U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education
 Devorab L Knoff, unpublished manuscript.
 Art in America 1991-92.
 Guerrilla Girls poster, New York, 1991.
 Women's Caucus for Art, Moore College of Art Fact Sheet, citing
Rosentt Browes, 1989.
 Artnews, cover article, Januarv 1992, pp.79-91.
 Department of Cultural Affairs, Percent for Art, 1992.
 New York Foundation for the Arts. 1992.
If you can't read the small text above, here are the statistics: (top
left) In 1987, 2.4% of major films were directed by women. By 1997,
that number rose to a whopping 4.3%.
(top right) In 1997, Sony, MGM/UA and Warner released no films directed
(bottom) Since 1927, two women directors have been nominated for an Oscar.
Neither won. No woman of color has ever been nominated.
Copyright 1999 Guerrilla
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documentary companion to No Turning Back, including feminist treatises,
speeches, fiction, drama, and poetry from around the world, 1405
June 22, 2009