Despite advances in recent years, new research finds Iowa women still face inequities that can prevent them from reaching their full potential.
The report from the Institute for Women’s Policy Research gives Iowa a C grade on poverty and opportunity, and a C-minus for women’s employment and earnings.
Report co-author Julie Anderson says paying women the same as men for comparable work and hours would pull more than half of those women out of poverty, and have a ripple effect on the entire state.
The report says full-time working Iowa women earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts and, if current trends continue, will not see equal pay until 2056.
Anderson says providing paid sick days and family leave are other benefits that would make a big difference to women, as they typically shoulder the responsibility when family illnesses or emergencies arise.
According to the report, the percentage of Iowa women living above the poverty level fell from 90 percent in 2004 to 86 percent in 2015.