Fast-Food Protests on Thursday: It’s About More Than Money

The walkouts started a year ago. Fast-food workers, long frustrated with low wages, organized protests that began in New York City and spread to a nationwide  grassroots movement, culminating in a one-day strike in 60 cities this past August. We at Ms. were so impressed and supportive that we featured a cover story on these […]

How’s the Gender Wage Gap in YOUR State?

For more than a decade, U.S. women have earned, on average, 77 cents to every dollar earned by a man. Today the same disparity remains, but varies greatly by state and race, according to a study released last week by the National Women’s Law Project (NWLP). Wyoming’s pay gap is the widest: Women working full time […]

Why Is It Still Legal to Profile Working Moms?

In 1994, Kiki Peppard, a single mother of two, moved to eastern Pennsylvania desperate for employment to support her family. And her strategy worked: the savvy job hunter managed to score 19 interviews. But each time a prospective employer learned that Ms. Peppard had children, the interview abruptly ended and she was not offered the […]

Due Respect: Minimum Wage Now Covers Home Caregivers

The U.S. Department of Labor said Tuesday it will extend the federal minimum wage and overtime protections provided by the Fair Labor Standards Act to direct-care health workers, who are among the lowest paid employees in the country. The inclusion, which goes into effect January 1, 2015, will benefit nearly 2 million people, 90 percent […]

Paid Family Leave in California: All is Not Well

Passed in 2002 and implemented in 2004, California’s Paid Family Leave Act, PFLA, provides unemployment disability compensation to employees who take time off from work to “care for a seriously ill child, spouse, parent, domestic partner or bond with a newborn baby, adopted or foster.” But although awareness has increased over the years, research in 2011 […]

50 Years Later, Fulfilling the Promise of Equal Pay

My mom graduated from a prestigious, small women’s college in the 1950s with dreams of graduate school—a true accomplishment for a Jewish girl from a modest economic background. She wanted to go to a scholarly graduate school, which would have given her more options, but her college advisor would only write her a recommendation for […]

April 9 Is Equal Pay Day!

Despite women being a formidable voting bloc in the 2012 presidential election, pay equity policies have yet to reflect the influence women have gained. Today, women earn just under 80 cents on the dollar when compared to men, a gap that eventually causes a loss of about $380,000 over a woman’s career. This year’s upcoming […]

Is Sheryl Sandberg’s “Lean In” The Next Great Feminist Manifesto?

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg’s new book, Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will To Lead, has come out accompanied by a blizzard of discussion, even among those who haven’t read it. I did read it, and found it to be a thoughtful, heavily researched and detailed book that will no doubt inspire countless young women […]

Why Labor Union Rights Are a Feminist Issue

Amid fervent protests and desperate pleading, the Michigan House of Representatives passed legislation Tuesday that will drastically weaken public unions in a state once known for the strength of its organized labor force. Hours after passing the House, two “right to work” bills, which ban a requirement that nonunion employees pay union fees, were signed […]

The End of Men? Not in Alabama

Hanna Rosin, in her recent book The End of Men, says that sociologists have described the collapse of the manufacturing-based white working class but have missed how that event has had different effects on men and women: In fact, the most distinctive change is probably the emergence of an American matriarchy, where the younger men especially […]