It’s a hard knock life for many North Carolina women

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According to a new study released by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that promotes women’s rights, North Carolina ranked No. 31 in the country for female employment and earnings, a designated “C” rating by the report. The state also had dismal scores when it comes to political participation, poverty and opportunity, and health and well-being, earning scores of C-, D+, and D+, respectively. The report is compiled using information from various federal agencies and other sources.

Institute for Women’s Policy Research

On the economic front, the study found that N.C. women earn 81 cents for every dollar a man earns, only slightly higher than the national average of 78.3 cents. At the current rate, women will not receive equal pay until 2060. More than 28% of employed women work low-wage jobs.

Taking race into consideration, the pay gap is even more polarized. Black women earn 64 cents for every dollar earned by white men; Hispanic women only earn 49 cents in comparison.

It’s not all bad news for women in N.C., however. Since the 2004 Status of Women in the States report was published, the gender gap in North Carolina has narrowed, and a higher percentage of women have bachelor’s degrees.

Still, North Carolina has risen from the worst third in the nation to the middle third for both women’s employment and earnings, and poverty and opportunity. In 2012, 35.6% of businesses were owned by women, up from 28.2% in 2007.

“Women in North Carolina have made considerable advances in recent years, but still face inequities that often prevent them from reaching their full potential,” said N.C. Department of Administration Secretary Machelle Sanders in a March 28 press release.

Institute for Women's Policy Research
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