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Women at work on bomber, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif.
By the end of World War I, in 1918, women were about 20% of the US manufacturing workforce; in 1929 22%, and in 1939, 25% [1]. “By 1944, women held one third of all manufacturing jobs in the U.S.” [2]. “since 1970, women’s share of employment in the manufacturing industry has remained relatively constant, peaking at 33.2 percent in 1990 before declining to 29.0 percent in 2016.” [3]

These four female pilots leaving their ship, Pistol Packin’ Mama, at the four engine school at Lockbourne AAF, Ohio, are members of a group of Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) who have been trained to ferry the B-17 Flying Fortresses. L to R are Frances Green, Margaret (Peg) Kirchner, Ann Waldner and Blanche Osborn“.

In the US, unequal pay is supposed to be illegal:
The right of employees to be free from discrimination in their compensation is protected under several federal laws, including the following enforced by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission: the Equal Pay Act of 1963, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

The law against compensation discrimination includes all payments made to or on behalf employees as remuneration for employment. All forms of compensation are covered, including salary, overtime pay, bonuses, stock options, profit sharing and bonus plans, life insurance, vacation and holiday pay, cleaning or gasoline allowances, hotel accommodations, reimbursement for travel expenses, and benefits.

Equal Pay Act
The Equal Pay Act requires that men and women be given equal pay for equal work in the same establishment. The jobs need not be identical, but they must be substantially equal. It is job content, not job titles, that determines whether jobs are substantially equal. Specifically, the EPA provides that employers may not pay unequal wages to men and women who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort and responsibility, and that are performed under similar working conditions within the same establishment
.” Read more here: https://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-epa.cfm

And, yet in the USA (see international further below):

IF WOMEN’S INTELLECTUAL AND PHYSICAL WORK WAS VALUED-PAID EQUALLY TO THAT OF MEN, THEN MOST OF THE SEXUAL HARASSMENT ISSUES WOULD DISAPPEAR.

RUSSIAN WOMEN FARE EVEN WORSE.

According to the ILO (International Labour Office), there is “fairly widespread agreement that, whatever measure is used, the gender pay gap persists and is not fully explicable by differences in personal characteristics such as education. Indeed, as women have narrowed the educational and work experience gaps with men, the gender pay gap has not closed as much as anticipated such that in some countries the adjusted gender pay gap exceeds the raw gender pay gap (ILO 2014, Rubery and Grimshaw 2015)…. since the European economic crisis the gender pay gap has been reduced through downgrading of men’s pay rather than upgrading of women’s (Bettio et al. 2013).” The raw gender pay gap for OECD counties “shows a wide variation from over 30 percent in Korea and Estonia to under 10 percent in Hungary, Spain, Denmark, Norway, Greece, Luxembourg, Belgium and New Zealand. In the sample of emerging and developing economies investigated by the recent ILO Global Wage Report, the gaps were even higher with only Vietnam registering a gap below 20 per cent and the Russian Federation recording a gap of over 30 per cent” [4] (Emphasis our own.)

On average, women do far more unpaid and undervalued household and care work:
Women continue to work longer hours per day than men in both paid and unpaid work. In both high and lower income countries, on average, women carry out at least two and a half times more unpaid household and care work than men. In developed economies, employed women (either in self-employment or wage and salaried employment) work 8 hours and 9 minutes in paid and unpaid work, compared to 7 hours and 36 minutes worked by men.

In developing economies, women in employment spend 9 hours and 20 minutes in paid and unpaid work, whereas men spend 8 hours and 7 minutes in such work. The unbalanced share of unpaid work limits women’s capacity to increase their hours in paid, formal and wage and salaried work. As a result, across the world, women, who represent less than 40 per cent of total employment, make up 57 per cent of those working shorter hours and on a part-time basis.” [5]

[1] https://www.ssa.gov/policy/docs/ssb/v5n7/v5n7p4.pdf
[2] American Social History Project/Center for Media and Learning, “Table of Statistics on Women in the World War II Era Workforce,” HERB: Resources for Teachers, accessed March 9, 2018, https://herb.ashp.cuny.edu/items/show/1241.
[3] https://census.gov/newsroom/blogs/random-samplings/2017/10/women-manufacturing.html
These photos were taken during World War II, around 75 years ago.
[4] “Rubery, Jill; Koukiadaki, Aristea.
Closing the gender pay gap: a review of the issues, policy mechanisms and international evidence / Jill Rubery, Aristea Koukiadaki; International Labour Office – Geneva: ILO, 2016
“, p. 2 http://www.ilo.org/wcmsp5/groups/public/—dgreports/—gender/documents/publication/wcms_540889.pdf
[5] “International Women’s Day 2016
ILO: Large gender gaps remain across broad spectrum of global labour market New ILO report highlights the enormous challenges women continue to face in finding and keeping decent jobs around the world.
News | 08 March 2016
http://www.ilo.org/global/about-the-ilo/newsroom/news/WCMS_457267/lang–en/index.htm

Coalition for equal pay for work of equal value between women and men
To contribute to SDG Target 8.5, in September 2017, the ILO, UN Women and OECD will launch a Coalition for equal pay for work of equal value between women and men. 09 March 2017

http://www.ilo.org/global/topics/equality-and-discrimination/WCMS_546845/lang–en/index.htm

World War II: 1939-1945
http://www.striking-women.org/module/women-and-work/world-war-ii-1939-1945

Top World War II photos:
These four female pilots leaving their ship, Pistol Packin’ Mama, at the four engine school at Lockbourne AAF, Ohio, are members of a group of Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPS) who have been trained to ferry the B-17 Flying Fortresses. L to R are Frances Green, Margaret (Peg) Kirchner, Ann Waldner and Blanche Osborn.
http://www.302aw.afrc.af.mil/news/story.asp?id=123117795

Women at work on bomber, Douglas Aircraft Company, Long Beach, Calif.
* Digital ID: (digital file from original transparency) fsac 1a35341 http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/fsac.1a35341
* Reproduction Number: LC-DIG-fsac-1a35341 (digital file from original transparency) LC-USW361-109 (color film copy slide)
* Repository: Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division Washington, D.C. 20540 USA
http://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/pp.print

EMPHASIS OUR OWN THROUGHOUT