MEDIA ADVISORY: On International Women’s Day, new fact sheet highlights inequalities for North Carolina women in the workforce

Women fundamental to labor force but extreme inequalities remain in wages, career advancement exacerbated by recession, state budget cuts

WHAT: “Women & the Economy” fact sheet
WHO: The North Carolina Justice Center  
WHERE: www.ncjustice.org

RALEIGH (March 7, 2012) – In light of International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 8, the NC Justice Center has released a fact sheet on women and the economy, highlighting the important role of the 2.3 million women in North Carolina’s labor force as well as the persistent structural inequalities that have been exacerbated by budget cuts and a weak economic recovery.

Throughout the recession, men suffered greater job losses than women, but as men began returning to work after the recession, women continued to lose jobs. At the same time, the fact sheet points out, there were deep cuts in the state budget and programs for women.

Women remain vulnerable to economic instability and poverty, data shows, and the weak economic recovery combined with cuts to critical state-funded services hurts the economic security of North Carolina’s families and communities. Declines in government jobs have hit women particularly hard, with women losing more than twice as many government jobs as men nationally during the official recovery period.

“Budget cuts – combined with a slower recovery period for women after the recession – have made it more difficult for women to overcome persistent structural inequalities,” said Louisa Warren, Senior Policy Advocate with the NC Justice Center’s Budget and Tax Center.

Sabine Schoenbach, a policy analyst with the NC Justice Center’s Workers Rights Project, pointed out that women in North Carolina still only early 80.7 percent of men’s earnings, and over a lifetime, women with the same education level as men earn approximately one-quarter less than their male counterparts. “In recognition of International Women’s Day – and March serving as Women’s History Month – we urge North Carolinians to remain vigilant in working towards women’s equality,” Schoenbach said.

Staff members from the Justice Center will be available for interviews. The fact sheet is available at this link: http://www.ncjustice.org/?q=node/1285

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Sabine Schoenbach, Policy Analyst, NC Justice Center, sabine@ncjustice.org, 919.856.2234; Louisa Warren, Louisa@ncjustice.org, 919.856.2183;Jeff Shaw, Director of Communications, NC Justice Center, jeff@ncjustice.org, 503.551.3615 (cell).