If working women were paid the same amount as their male counterparts living in the same place, working the same hours, with the same education, their poverty rate would drop by more than half in 28 states, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a think tank focused on women’s economic issues. To reach their conclusion, researchers analyzed government data to determine how much women would make if they got the same return on their resources — education, age, location etc. — as men. Then they calculated whether that added income would lift those women out of poverty.
Eliminating the gap in pay between working men and women would not only benefit the women making less, but it would help the families they support and the economy overall as well, said Heidi Hartmann, the president of IWPR. Closing the gender pay gap in every state would boost the U.S. economy by $482 billion, IWPR found.
“The low pay of women due to discrimination is a drag on the entire economy,” Hartmann said.