Today in America and across the globe, women’s equality remains an aspiration, not a reality.

Much has been accomplished since the World Conference on Women held in Beijing twenty years ago. But much also remains to be done. In the U.S., women struggle to achieve parity and balance work and family life due to workplace norms and government policies that are stuck in the 1950s. Their fundamental right to make their own healthcare choices is under constant assault, and lack of access to family planning services only increases their economic insecurity.

The Roosevelt Institute’s work on women and families, including Ellen Chesler’s Women and Girls Rising project and Andrea Flynn’s research and writing on women’s health, starts from the conviction that women’s issues are everyone’s issues. The reverse is also true: Universal challenges like rising economic inequality have a disproportionate impact on women who are already disadvantaged, and these problems cannot be solved without addressing their particular needs and concerns. In order to build a stronger economy and a more just society, we must secure full equality for women.

28.6%

Poverty rate for Black women, compared with 10.8 percent for white women

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3 M

The number of women left without health coverage because governors refuse to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid

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$0.19

Total reduction in the gender wage gap over the last five decades

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Reproductive health care is a matter of economic security.

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Share of the U.S.’s nearly 20 million low-wage jobs held by women

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The U.S. is the only OECD country in which women’s workforce participation rate is declining.

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Zero

Number of weeks of paid family leave guaranteed to new parents

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83%

of Americans support paid family leave.

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22.5%

Share of legislative seats held by women worldwide

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