OWL promotes the economic security of midlife and older women by advocating for:
- Preservation and improvements to Social Security
- Better pensions for women
- Laws barring discrimination based on age, gender, sexual orientation, race, creed,
disability and national origin
- An adequate, equitable wage for women
- Compensation for caregiving including Social Security and tax credits
Addressing the wage gap:
The wage gap and its effect on women’s economic security has been an OWL issue since its founding in 1980. The good news is that over the past 34 years the gap has narrowed. In the early 1980’s women earned about 60 cents for every dollar that men earned. . By the time The Path to Poverty, OWL’s 1995 Mother’s Day report, was published, women’s wages were 76% of men’s. In recent years the wage gap has stalled at 77%. In the most recent year for which figures are available, 2012, women earned 76.5% of what men earned.
Age is a factor that widens the wage gap for women. Young full-time working women (20-24 years old) were paid 89 percent of their male peers while women 55-64 years old received 76 percent of their male peers’ pay. Women in the work force receive about 90 percent of what men are paid until around the age of 35, when median earnings for women increase more slowly than men’s median earnings. After that women receive 75 to 80 percent of what men are paid).
There is more to be done. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, if change continues at the same pace as the previous fifty years, it will take until take until 2058 for the gap to close. OWL supports legislation to add protections against pay discrimination based on sex.