Once again, Georgia is the “number one state for business,” yet continues to have some of the highest levels of poverty in the nation; and issues like the gender wage gap exacerbate a family’s experience of poverty.
Nearly one in five Georgians live in poverty — which is just $2,025 a month for a family of four. That’s $2,025 to cover rent, utilities, childcare, groceries, gas and everything else a family needs. Unfortunately, women — particularly women of color — are more likely to live in poverty both in Georgia and around the nation.
In this state, women make only 81 cents for every dollar men make. And even that obscures the significant disparities women of color experience. Latina women are only earning 48 cents to the dollar — so that’s less than half of what men are earning — and African American women make just 63 cents.
The earnings gap is driven by many factors, but as labor economist Francine Blau notes, “labor market discrimination continues to contribute to the gender wage gap.”
It’s clear that gender and race play a role in what women earn, resulting in families headed by women disproportionately living in poverty. Addressing the gender wage gap — making sure that women have equal access to good-paying jobs and are paid the same for their work — is a good starting point for addressing poverty in this state.
In the meantime, smaller incomes means women will continue to struggle to earn enough to take care of themselves and their families. How would life be different for Georgia women if they actually experienced pay equity? What would it be like if Georgia families could actually earn enough?