Women on the other side of the prosperity gap
By Nicola Goren
The Oct. 7 front-page article “More U.S. women pull down big bucks” missed an entire side to the story about the earnings of women in our region.
While some of the country’s wealthiest women live here, there is a widening divide between them and women who live in poverty. According to a report that my organization will release Thursday, 21 percent of female-headed households with children in this region live below the poverty line. A number of women in our region may earn more than $100,000, but the median income for a single woman with children in the District is just $29,900. And while the number of women with six-figure incomes may be rising faster than similarly situated men, we still have a 20 percent gender wage gap to overcome in this region.
The article also noted that higher education has helped more women succeed, but a substantial proportion of local women — 57 percent of Latinas and 39 percent of African American women — have only a high school diploma or less. It is critical that we continue to find ways to break down barriers to economic security for our region’s low-income population.
The writer is president of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation.
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