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

Video Obama Announces Plan to Send 3,000 Troops to Liberia in Ebola Fight

At US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Obama details troop deployment and other pieces of US plan More

Video China Muslims Work to Change Perceptions After Knife Attacks

Muslims in Kunming say that they condemn the violence, it is not a reflection of the true beliefs of their faith More

Humanitarian Aid, Equipment Blocked in Cameroon

Move is seen as a developing supply crisis in West Africa More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Communityi
X
September 16, 2014 2:06 PM
Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video Enviropreneur Seeks to Save the Environment, Empower the Community

Lorna Rutto, a former banker, is now an ‘enviropreneur’ - turning plastic waste into furniture and fences discusses the challenges she faces in Africa with raw materials and the environment.
Video

Video West Trades Accusations Over Ransoms

As world leaders try to forge a common response to the threat posed by Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria, there is simmering tension over differing policies on paying ransoms. In the past month, the jihadist group has beheaded two Americans and one Briton. Both countries refuse to pay ransom money. As Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London, there is uncertainty in the approach of some other European nations.
Video

Video Scotland Independence Bid Stokes Global Interest

The people of Scotland are preparing to vote on whether to become independent and break away from the rest of Britain, in a referendum being watched carefully in many other countries. Some see it as a risky experiment; while others hope a successful vote for independence might energize their own separatist demands. Foreign immigrants to Scotland have a front row seat for the vote. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell spoke to some of them in Edinburgh.
Video

Video Washington DC Mural Artists Help Beautify City

Like many cities, Washington has a graffiti problem. Buildings and homes, especially in low-income neighborhoods, are often targets of illegal artwork. But as we hear from VOA’s Julie Taboh, officials in the nation's capital have come up with an innovative program that uses the talents of local artists to beautify the city.
Video

Video US Muslim Leaders Condemn Islamic State

Leaders of America's Muslim community are condemning the violent extremism of the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. Muslim leaders say militants are exploiting their faith in a failed effort to justify violent extremism. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Americans' Reaction Mixed on Obama Strategy for Islamic State Militants

President Barack Obama’s televised speech on how the United States plans to “degrade and destroy” the group known as the Islamic State reached a prime-time audience of millions. And it came as Americans appear more willing to embrace a bolder, tougher approach to foreign policy. VOA producer Katherine Gypson and reporter Jeff Seldin have this report from Washington.
Video

Video Authorities Allege LA Fashion Industry-Cartel Ties

U.S. officials say they have broken up crime rings that funneled tens of millions of dollars from Mexican drug cartels through fashion businesses in Los Angeles. Mike O'Sullivan reports that authorities announced nine arrests, as 1,000 law enforcement agents fanned out through the city on Wednesday.
Video

Video Bedouin Woman Runs Successful Business in Palestinian City

A Bedouin woman is breaking social taboos by running a successful vacation resort in the Palestinian town of Jericho. Bedouins are a sub-group of Arabs known for their semi-nomadic lifestyle. Zlatica Hoke says the resort in the West Bank's Jordan Valley is a model of success for women in the region.


Carnage and mayhem are part of daily life in northern Nigeria, the result of a terror campaign by the Islamist group Boko Haram. Fears are growing that Nigeria’s government may not know how to counter it, and may be making things worse. More

AppleAndroid