July 24 2012

Women's Figures Reveals the Real Economic Progress of Women in America

Sabrina Schaeffer

 

Diana Furchgott-Roth, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute and long-time friend of IWF, has released a new edition of her book Women’s Figures (AEI Press). Against the backdrop of the “War on Women” rhetoric, there has perhaps never been a more pressing need for a book like this to help set the record straight.

The fact is if you listen to the White House and the Democratic Party, one might believe that the workplace and society are openly and aggressively hostile toward women. Whether they’re advancing the myth of the wage gap, lamenting the shortage of female CEOs, or defending our entitlement programs, Democrats and traditional women’s groups continue to paint the picture of women as victims in need of special government protections.

The White House Council on Women and Girls, for instance, too often ignores all the educational, professional, and personal advancements women have made, and instead celebrate all the myriad ways government helps care for women. In fact, as Diana describes, recent legislation like the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law has “mandated 29 offices for the advancement of women.” Similarly, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (or ObamaCare) created “multiple offices of women’s health.”

But Women’s Figures helps reorient the conversation by shedding light on where women really stand in society.  About the wage gap, for instance, the author explains:

“When the wage gap is analyzed by individual occupations, job and employee characteristics, regional labor markets, job titles, job responsibilities, and employee experience, the wage gap shrinks even more. When these differences are considered, many studies show that men and women make about the same.”

Similarly, Diana points out just how far women have come in terms of educational attainment: “Women are the majority of college and university students and receive well over half of bachelor’s and master’s degrees as well as half of doctoral degrees awarded in the United States.”

And to those that lament the “shortage” of female leaders in business and politics, Diana explains, “the number of female entrepreneurs has been on the rise.”

Of course as the former chief economist of the U.S. Department of Labor and the Chief of Staff of President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers, the book is filled with pages of graphs, charts, and numbers to back up all her claims.

Traditional women’s groups have assured Democrats that playing gender politics and promising women cradle-to-grave programs and services is a sure-fire way to win their votes. But what is apparent from Women’s Figures is that too often the “Life of Julia” policies the left advances actually fail women and their families, lead to fewer choices, less flexibility and less freedom in all our lives.

This Thursday, IWF is partnering with the Chamber of Commerce’s Center for Women in Business to showcase Diana’s research and to help highlight the real economic progress of women in America.

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