Betsey Stevenson: "94 Years Later, Here's Where We Are:"
Last night, White House economist Betsey Stevenson sent the email below to the White House email list, telling the story of the progress women have made since gaining the right to vote -- and what's still left to accomplish.
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Hi, everyone --
In 1776, Abigail Adams wrote to John Adams, then serving on the Continental Congress in Philadelphia, and reminded him to "not put such unlimited power into the hands of the husbands."
Seventy-two years later, in 1848, women across the country gathered together for the first women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York.
And it wasn't until 72 years after that, in 1920, that women in the United States officially gained the right to vote.
Let's be honest: Change hasn't ever exactly come quickly for women in this country. And 94 years later -- while it's undeniable that women have made leaps and bounds in every facet of American life, from the classroom to the boardroom -- it's not enough.
Today, on the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, we celebrate Women's Equality Day. And today, the day-to-day operations of too many businesses and institutions still don't reflect true gender equality. We've got the data to prove it.
Throughout the day, I've posted charts that tell the story of the progress we've made -- and the challenges women still face in the workforce.
In 2014, inequality and discrimination live on. Women, on average, continue to earn less than their male counterparts (and that's 51 years after the Equal Pay Act passed), and the gap is even greater for women of color. Our workplace policies, on the whole, force many working parents to choose between their job and their family -- and that's wrong.
This Administration has a long history of shattering our remaining glass ceilings and upholding the rights of women -- but real gender equality is going to take more than the President acting alone.
Right now, there's legislation before Congress that would make it better -- that would make it easier for women to discuss what they're being paid, and to do something about it.
No major achievement for women's rights in this country has come easily. It's always taken a determined group of women and men alike, doing everything they could to organize, protest, and agitate the system they aimed to change.
The year 2014 is no different. So if you're ready for real equality for women, then make sure everyone you know has the facts.
Council of Economic Advisers