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Women Achieving Equality in Jobs and Education, Still Lag in Pay

White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett (file photo)

A comprehensive White House report says American women have made great strides in education and in the workforce in the past 50 years, but still lag behind men in pay.

The first federal report on American women in society since 1963 was released to coincide with the start of Women's History Month. White House Council on Women and Girls chairman Valerie Jarrett says the report shows how far women have come in terms of equality and also serves as a guide for future policy.

Among the key findings: Younger women are now more likely to have a college or graduate degree than men, but in 2009 only earned about 75 percent of what their male counterparts did. The lower salaries and the fact that unmarried and divorced women are more likely to have responsibility for child-rearing than men, means women are more likely to live in poverty.

In regard to health, women live longer than men and have less heart disease and diabetes. But they are more likely to suffer from depression, arthritis, asthma, and obesity. Socially, women are marrying later and having fewer children than 50 years ago. They are also less likely than in the past to be the target of violent crimes, including homicide.