Economic Security and Pay Equity

Wisconsin women of all ages and education experience a substantial and persistent gender wage gap.

Read a recent study by the Center On Wisconsin Strategy (COWS) at UW-Madison entitled ”Mind the Gap: Women, Wages and Pay Gap in Wisconsin.

For a March, 2007 report from COWS that provides data and indicators showing the economic status of women in Wisconsin, see Wisconsin Women and Economic Opportunity Datasheet (pdf).

For an American Association of University Women 2007 study that shows a pay gap exists as early as one year out of college, see Behind the Pay Gap. This study shows that just one year after college graduation, women earn only 80 percent of what their male counterparts earn. Ten years after graduation, women fall further behind, earning only 69 percent of what men earn.

For background on What is Gender Pay Equity?, What difference can it make in the lives of women and their families?, and What is the Equal Pay Act, see Gender Pay Equity Matters.

Also see the 2002 report Gender Equity in Pay for WI Women Public Employees.

Paycheck Fairness Act, July 2008 The Wisconsin Women’s Network joined with over 200 national, state, and local organizations to call for the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2008, which will strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and help address the persistent wage gap between men and women.

Education Equity and Title IX

Passed by Congress as part of the Education Amendments of 1972, Title IX provides:

[N]o person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.

Title IX is best known for providing equal opportunities for women in high school and college sports. See I Exercise My Rights, a public service, informational campaign designed to educate the public about Title IX, at http://www.titleix.info.

For recent activity regarding Title IX check The Feminist Majority Foundations website at http://www.feminist.org/education/ThreatstoTitleIX.asp.

For additional background on Title IX see:

American Association of University Women - Wisconsin: title IX Policies Threatened (June 2003)

Title IX Report Released; Minority Report Challenges Process (March 2003)


Equal Rights Amendment

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), first proposed in 1923, was approved by Congress in 1972 and sent to the states with a seven-year deadline for ratification:

Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.

Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.

Section 3. This amendment shall go into effect two years after the date of ratification.

Wisconsin ratified the amendment in . By 2008 only 35 of the necessary 38 states had ratified the amendment.

For additional information, see the National Council of Women’s Organizations website at http://www.equalrightsamendment.org, and http://www.eracampaign.net.

For historical information, see Wisconsin’s Struggle for the Equal Rights Amendment.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Rights

Wisconsin became the first state, in 1982, to ban sexual orientation-based discrimination in the workplace, housing, and public accommodations.

For information on advancing and protecting LGBT civil rights in Wisconsin, see the website of WWN member Fair Wisconsin at http://www.fairwisconsin.org.

See LGBT Non-Fiction Bibliography and LGBT Teen Internet Resources.