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April 19 2011

IWF in the News: Wage-Gap Myth

Carrie L. Lukas

The feminist National Committee for Pay Equity perpetuates a notion that data and common sense increasingly reveal as a myth: Women earn just 77 percent of what men earn for equal work.

Carrie Lukas, Independent Women's Forum executive director, wonders in a Wall Street Journal op-ed whether the committee was relatively quiet about its April 12 Equal Pay Day -- when women supposedly caught up to what men earned last year -- because the recession "has exposed as ridiculous their claims that our economy is ruled by a sexist patriarchy." Consider her myth-busting facts:

• With male-dominated fields hit harder, more men than women have quit looking for jobs and men's unemployment rate consistently exceeds women's.

• The Labor Department says men work longer than women at full-time jobs. Men thus make more, explaining about a third of the "wage gap."

• Women more often trade lower pay for better working conditions. • The myth doesn't hold when circumstances are similar. Women earned 8 percent more in a 2010 study of single, childless urban workers ages 22 to 30.

Ms. Lukas is right: Men and women -- and their job choices, which affect pay -- are different. It's time for feminists to admit that -- and stop repeating the wage-gap myth.

Independent Women’s Forum’s mission is to improve the lives of Americans by increasing the number of women who value free markets and personal liberty. Sister organization of Independent Women’s Voice.
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