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

Lebanese Media Unite to Support Palestinians in Gaza

Joint newscast billed as Arab world’s first unified news bulletin in support of Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip More

Photogallery Australian PM Alleges ‘Coverup’ at MH17 Crash Site

Meanwhile, Russia's ambassador to Malaysia denies plane's black boxes were opened before they were handed over to Malaysian officials More

Despite Advances in AIDS Treatment, Stigma Lingers

Leading immunologist tells VOA that stigma is often what prevents those infected with disease from seeking treatment More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Formi
X
July 22, 2014 10:26 AM
Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video Relic of Saint Draws Catholics Worried About Immigration Issue

A Roman Catholic saint who is a figure of devotion for those crossing the border into the United States is attracting believers concerned about the plight of undocumented immigrants. Mike O'Sullivan reports from Los Angeles, where a relic of Saint Toribio has drawn thousands to local churches.
Video

Video Ukraine Rebels Surrender MH17 Black Boxes

After days of negotiations, a senior separatist leader handed over two black boxes from an airliner downed over eastern Ukraine to Malaysian experts early Tuesday. While on Monday, the U.N. Security Council unanimously demanded that armed groups controlling the crash site allow safe and unrestricted access to the wreckage.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.
Video

Video Nature of Space Exploration Enters New Age

Forty-five years ago this month, the first humans walked on the moon. It was during an era of the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union. World politics have changed since then and -- as Elizabeth Lee reports -- so has the nature of space exploration.
Video

Video Chicago’s Argonne Lab Developing Battery of the Future

In 2012, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science awarded a $120 million grant to a new technology center focused on battery development - headquartered at Argonne National Laboratory in suburban Chicago, Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, there scientists are making the next technological breakthroughs in energy storage.
Video

Video In NW Pakistan, Army Offensive Causes Massive Number of Displaced

Pakistan’s army offensive in North Waziristan has resulted in the large-scale displacement of the local population. VOA's Ayaz Gul reports from northwest Pakistan where authorities say around 80 percent of the estimated 1 million internally displaced persons [IDPs] have settled in Bannu district, while much of the remaining 20 percent are scattered in nearby cities.
Video

Video Kurdish Peshmerga Force Secures Kirkuk, Its Oil

The Kurdistan regional government has sent its Peshmerga troops into the adjacent province of Kirkuk to drive out insurgents, and to secure the area's rich oil fields. By doing this, the regional government has added a fourth province to the three it officially controls. The oil also provides revenue that could make an independent Kurdistan economically strong. VOA’s Jeffrey Young went out with the Peshmerga and filed this report.
Video

Video Malaysia Reeling: Second Air Disaster in Four Months

Malaysia is reeling from the second air disaster in four months involving the country’s flag carrier. Flight 340 vanished in March and despite an extensive search, no debris has been found. And on Thursday, Flight 17, likely hit by a surface-to-air missile, came apart over eastern Ukraine. The two incidents together have left more than 500 people dead. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Kuala Lumpur.

AppleAndroid