AFL-CIO Launches Latest 'Working Woman' Survey

The AFL-CIO and its community affiliate Working America are conducting a nationwide survey of what it's like to be a working woman. The biannual survey launched yesterday and runs through June 20, covering such issues as equal pay and stronger family and medical leave laws. According to AFL-CIO, results will be used to advocate on behalf of working women everywhere for the next two years. "We'll compile the survey results and give them to candidates running at all levels of public office to help shape the policy agendas of incoming lawmakers," writes Tula Connell on the union's Web site.

More than 22,000 women took part in the 2006 Ask a Working Woman survey--with the majority saying they were worried about such fundamental economic issues as paying for health care, not having retirement security, and pay not keeping up with the cost of living. "And that was when the economy wasn't in the sewer. Today, 87 percent of Americans say the economy is getting worse, matching the year's high," Connell writes, noting that in the past year women's real wages fell by 3 percent, compared with half a percentage point for men's wages.

"A woman who spends years in medical school emerges to take her place alongside a panoply of male physicians--who, on average, make 38 percent more than she does," Connell notes on the blog introducing the survey. "Female attorneys fare better--they make 30 percent less than their male counterparts. But it's not just a matter of higher pay for men in traditionally male occupations: Male registered nurses are paid 10 percent more than women--even though 90 percent of RNs are women."

To read all of Connell's blog on the subject, click here. To take the survey, visit www.askaworkingwoman.org. (This link takes you to an initial page giving you the option to join Working America, but doing so is not mandatory for participating in the survey).

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