Colorado Family Magazine
Issues and Answers for the American Family SM

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Women's pay equity achieved
Women are not victims economically, according to IWF
By Robert Muchnick
     Thursday, April 8, was Pay Equity Day, the goal of which was to raise the consciousness of America to the plight of underpaid women. However, a new book released Wednesday by the Independent Women’s Forum, may take some wind out of the sails of those who claim women are the victims of oppressive economic discrimination.
     According to the book, Women's Figures, The Economic Progress of Women in America, the "woman-as-victim" theory is overly simplistic, ignores market forces and women’s own desires, and fails to reflect actual gains as a result of "technology, social attitudes, and laws."

     The thin monograph was compiled and written by Diana Furchtgott-Roth, an economist, resident fellow and assistant to the president at the American Enterprise Institute, and a member of the IWF's Women's Economic Project.; and Christine Stolba, a Ph.D. candidate in American History at Emory University whose area of concentration includes American intellectual history and comparative women's history.

     Citing well-documented studies, the authors make the point that women’s wages have risen steadily over time. In one category of worker, for example, adults aged 27 to 33 without children,  "women's earnings are close to 98 percent of men's."

     Women’s status with regard to the "glass ceiling," education and labor force participation is equally improved, with some minor disparities explained by, among other factors, "the lack of educated and experienced women available to be nominated for such high-level [CEO] positions."

     The authors point out that, according to Department of Labor statistics released in 1993, women are starting their own businesses at twice the rate of men. "Contrary to the popular story, women do well in a free market economy and have access to capital," they write.

     The authors conclude that in the areas of education, the labor force and the law, women have achieved equality of opportunity.

     They also paint a much more positive picture of the status of women in modern America than the perenially griping "econcomic-victimization" theorists would have us believe.

For more information or to order the book, contact the Independent Women’s Forum at 1-800-224-6000, or visit

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