Report: Women have made economic strides, still face challenges

In contrast, men’s labor force participation rates have dropped. Since the late 1990s, women’s labor force participation rates have remained mostly flat, while men’s labor force participation has continued to decline.

The report also found that in 2009, 87 percent of women had at least four years of high school education, compared with 73 percent in 1984, slightly higher than men. 

In 2009, 86 percent of men had at least four years of high school education, compared with 74 percent in 1984.

The report, “Women and the Economy 2010: 25 Years of Progress But Challenges Remain,” is the first in a series of reports and hearings that the JEC will conduct this fall to provide a comprehensive understanding of women’s economic situation and to identify additional actions that are needed for women to achieve economic equality.

Maloney said in addition to working, women still shoulder most of the burden of care-giving responsibilities at home, but families are still dependent on working wives’ incomes to make ends meet.

In 1983, wives’ incomes comprised just 29 percent of total family income. By 2008, wives’ incomes made up 36 percent of family income.

Between 1983 and 2008, married couples with a working wife experienced average annual income growth of 1.12 percent, while married couples with a stay-at-home wife saw their average annual incomes decline by 0.22 percent per year.