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Read it and weep: “the seemingly unbridgeable chasm” that is the gender wage gap

Crossposted from Heidi Li on Equality at 51 Percent.

All quotes from Why Is Her Paycheck Smaller? By HANNAH FAIRFIELD Published: February 28, 2009 – The New York Times (Click graphic to go to large interactive chart). Full story here.

Nearly every occupation has the gap — the seemingly unbridgeable chasm between the size of the paycheck brought home by a woman and the larger one earned by a man doing the same job.

link to chart in New York Times on wage gap

“There’s no measurable way to explain the gaps within occupations,” said Barry T. Hirsh, a labor economist at Georgia State University. “Other wage gaps, like racial gaps, can be almost fully explained by factoring in the differences in education, geography and age.” (emphases added)

This is economic misogyny plain and simple; embedded in our economic habits deeply and seemingly insurmountably – although with enough political and legal action not actually insurmountable is a belittling of women’s work compared to men’s. This sort of systemic, measurable inequity is, to borrow a phrase from Mario Cuomo, a “sin against equality.”