When Phyllis Schlafly died recently, many obituaries remembered her opposition to the Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The amendment stated that the rights guaranteed Constitution apply equally to all persons regardless of their sex. Schlafly was able to evoke fear of changes to the draft, single-sex restrooms and child custody laws to persuade women and men to oppose the amendment, which failed in 1982.
One result of the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment is the continuing gap in pay between women and men. The Gender Pay Gap has been tracked since the Equal Rights Amendment failed in 1982. I wondered how much income was lost by women each year since it failed.
This infographic shows the annual income of women in the U.S. from 1982 – 1915, the gap in pay between men and women each year (both in percentage and in calculated dollars), and what that lost income could have translated into that year. I calculate that women lost over $1,455,000,000 of income over the past 23 years.
I calculate that women lost over $1,455,000,000 of income over the past 33 years. Even though the pay gap has lessened over the past three decades, it’s still important to see just how much Schlafly’s opposition to ERA cost us and continues to cost us today.
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