My name's Ben. I'm a 22 year-old recent grad living in Seattle. I've been told my gayness is only matched by my enthusiasm.
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Since 2006 the World Economic Forum has annually released the Global Gender Gap Index to provide a perspective on economic, political, educational and health-related gender disparities around the world. Since the United States is, after all, the land of the free, one would think that we’d rank highly. Yet the U.S. was ranked 23rd out of 136 countries in 2013, far behind five-year front-runner Iceland.
In fact, the U.S. scores were fairly lousy on several indices, including being ranked 40th for labor force participation, 67th for wage equality and having one of the highest rates of maternal mortality for a developed nation. Political empowerment scored no better, with America earning a big fat zero in the “years with female head of state” category. To put it plainly, if our nation was a basketball team, we’d be the Duke of this year’s March Madness.
It’s the bogus statistic that won’t die—and president deployed it during the State of the Union—but women do not make 77 cents to every dollar a man earns.
The 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women working full-time. It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week. When all these relevant factors are taken into consideration, the wage gap narrows to about five cents.