During the 20th century, women made significant
economic, political, and social advances,
but they are still far from enjoying gender
equality. Throughout the United States, women
earn less than men, are seriously underrepresented in
political office, and make up a disproportionate share
of people in poverty. Even in areas where there have
been significant advances in women’s status, rates of
progress are slow. For example, at the rate of progress
achieved between 1989 and 2002, women will not
achieve wage parity for more than 50 years. If women’s
representation in Congress changes at the rate
it did during the last decade, it will take almost 100
years to achieve equality in political representation.