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Mon., April 11, 2011, 10:58 a.m.

Pay for Washington, Idaho women lags

Women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, and women in Washington and Idaho get an even smaller share, according to a study released today by the National Partnership for Women & Families.

In Washington, a woman working full-time is paid $38,521, a man $51,305. The 25 percent gap creates a $11.1 billion difference in total wages for all women.

If pay were equal, women would be able to buy almost two years worth of food, make seven more monthly mortgage payments, or 14 more months of rent.. The Partnership said eliminating the pay gap would boost the incomes of 65,577 Washington households living in poverty that are headed by women.

Idaho women earn $29,122, men $40,440, creating a 26 percent gap and total differential of $2.1 billion.

The gap represents 85 more weeks of food, nine months of mortgage payments, or 16 months of rent. Slightly more than 15,500 families living in poverty would benefit if pay was equal.

The statistics were released the day before Equal Pay Day, the end of the period women must work in 2011 to catch up with compensation earned by men in 2010.

The gap has closed at a rate of one-half cent per year since passage of the 1963 Equal Pay Act. At that rate, the Partnership says, pay for women will not match that for men until 2958.


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Bert Caldwell
Bert Caldwell oversees production of the opinion pages, including writing editorials, and editing and selecting letters, columns and cartoons.