News / USA

Activists: US Minimum Wage Boost Would Especially Benefit Women

Activists: Minimum Wage Boost Would Especially Benefit Women i
X
March 07, 2013 11:13 PM
President Obama's recent calls to raise the federally mandated minimum wage in the United States - from $7.25 to $9.00 an hour - has galvanized activists on labor issues, including those who note the wage boost would especially benefit women. VOA's Suzanne Presto in Washington has more
Activists: Minimum Wage Boost Would Especially Benefit Women
Suzanne Presto
President Obama's recent calls to raise the federally mandated minimum wage in the United States - from $7.25 to $9.00 an hour - has galvanized activists on labor issues,  including those who note the wage boost would especially benefit women. 

Activists in the United States are pressing the government to boost the minimum wage.  

President Obama supported this call in a recent televised address.  

"A family with two kids that earns the minimum wage still lives below the poverty line. That's wrong," said President Obama.

While women make up about half of the U.S. workforce, they hold more than half of the nation's minimum-wage jobs, says Joan Entmacher of the National Women's Law Center.

"They're the people who serve you food in restaurants or prepare it behind the scenes," said  Entmacher. "They're the people who clean your offices at night after you go home or clean your hotel rooms.  Those are the really low paid jobs, and they are overwhelmingly filled by women."  

That is why women have the most to gain if the minimum wage is boosted, she says.

"It's really important to women because two out of three minimum-wage workers are women," she said. "But when women have more income, their families are better off, their children are better off, and the whole economy is better off because they have more money to spend, and that creates jobs for other people."

It can be especially hard to make ends meet in a tight economy.  Debra Z. Roth found low-wage work during the recession, after surgery and a layoff from her well-paid job.

"I have a lot of confidence about the things that I've done, but the way in which the loss of money and the inability to feel secure affected me and affects other people is like the ground was taken out from under me," said Roth.

Now, Roth holds a job in her field - communications chief at the Washington-based Wider Opportunities for Women.  She identifies with its aim to help women become financially secure, recalling her own struggle with low-wage living.

"I ended up coming home at the end of the day and counting tips and so forth and realizing, 'I can't do this.  I'm wasting my time. I should be doing more to get a job that I can actually live on," she said. "I cannot afford my rent.'"  

Workers have not seen the federal minimum wage increase since 2009.

You May Like

French Refugee Drama Wins Cannes Top Prize

Dheepan is about a group of Sri Lankan refugees who pretend to be a family in order to flee their war-torn country for a housing project in France More

Photogallery Crisis in Macedonia Requires Meaningful and Swift Measures

The international community has called on Macedonian leadership to take concrete measures in support of democracy in order to exit the crisis More

Activists: IS Executes 217 Civilians, Soldiers Near Palmyra

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Sunday said the victims include nurses, women, children and Syrian government fighters More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthroughi
X
May 22, 2015 10:23 AM
Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Turkey's Main Opposition Party Hopes for Election Breakthrough

Turkey’s main opposition Republican People’s Party has sought an image change ahead of the June 7 general election. The move comes after suffering successive defeats at the hands of the Islamist-rooted AK Party, which has portrayed it as hostile to religion. Dorian Jones reports from the western city of Izmir.
Video

Video Europe Follows US Lead in Tackling ‘Conflict Minerals’

Metals mined from conflict zones in places like the Democratic Republic of Congo are often sold by warlords to buy weapons. This week European lawmakers voted to force manufacturers to prove that their supply chains are not inadvertently fueling conflicts and human rights abuses. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Class Tackles Questions of Race, Discrimination

Unrest in some U.S. cities is more than just a trending news item at Ladue Middle School in St. Louis, Missouri. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, it’s a focus of a multicultural studies class engaging students in wide-ranging discussions about racial tensions and police aggression.
Video

Video Mind-Controlled Prosthetics Are Getting Closer

Scientists and engineers are making substantial advances towards the ultimate goal in prosthetics – creation of limbs that can be controlled by the wearer’s mind. Thanks to sophisticated sensors capable of picking up the brain’s signals, an amputee in Iceland is literally bringing us one step closer to that goal. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Economy Sinks As Foreign Troops Depart

As international troops prepare to leave Afghanistan, and many foreign aid groups follow, Afghans are grappling with how the exodus will affect the country's fragile economy. Ayesha Tanzeem reports from the Afghan capital, Kabul.
Video

Video Poverty, Ignorance Force Underage Girls Into Marriage

The recent marriage of a 17-year old Chechen girl to a local police chief who was 30 years older and already had a wife caused an outcry in Russia and beyond. The bride was reportedly forced to marry and her parents were intimidated into giving their consent. The union spotlighted yet again the plight of many underage girls in developing countries. Zlatica Hoke reports poverty, ignorance and fear are behind the practice, especially in Asia and Africa.
Video

Video South Korea Marks Gwangju Uprising Anniversary

South Korea this week marked the 35th anniversary of a protest that turned deadly. The Gwangju Uprising is credited with starting the country’s democratic revolution after it was violently quelled by South Korea’s former military rulers. But as Jason Strother reports, some observers worry that democracy has recently been eroded.
Video

Video California’s Water System Not Created To Handle Current Drought

The drought in California is moving into its fourth year. While the state's governor is mandating a reduction in urban water use, most of the water used in California is for agriculture. But both city dwellers and farmers are feeling the impact of the drought. Some experts say the state’s water system was not created to handle long periods of drought. Elizabeth Lee reports from Ventura County, an agricultural region just northwest of Los Angeles.
Video

Video How to Clone a Mammoth: The Science of De-Extinction

An international team of scientists has sequenced the complete genome of the woolly mammoth. Led by the Swedish Museum of Natural History in Stockholm, the work opens the door to recreate the huge herbivore, which last roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble considers the science of de-extinction and its place on the planet
Video

Video Blind Boy Defines His Life with Music

Cole Moran was born blind. He also has cognitive delays and other birth defects. He has to learn everything by ear. Nevertheless, the 12-year-old has had an insatiable love for music since he was born. VOA’s June Soh introduces us to the young phenomenal harmonica player.

VOA Blogs