Data about Women and Girls

The ICSW is mandated to study the changing needs and problems of the women of Iowa and to share that information. Children and Family Policy Center's Women, Work, and Poverty draws upon fifty years of national and Iowa data to track the disparities in poverty and income levels between men and women. It shows that, while there have been dramatic increases in women’s employment rates, education levels, and earnings compared with men, the gender gap in poverty rates has remained consistent over this period. Public policies – particularly around child support enforcement and comparable worth for Iowa employees – have helped equalize income levels by gender. At the same time, combined Iowa investments in welfare benefits and child care assistance have declined substantially over time, both in terms of real dollars and as a share of the state budget. Women, Work, and Poverty indicates that addressing both gender and racial disparities in income and poverty should again become a source of public policy dialogue, as it was in the 1980s, when significant policy advances were made.

Iowa ranks 37th among all states for wage equity, and high wage earners are hit the hardest, according to Women, Work and the Iowa Economy, a study released in fall 2008 by the Iowa Policy Project. The study found that 67% of Iowa women are in the workforce, compared with a national average of 59%. For those in the 80th percentile of earners (about $19 per hour and up), Iowa has the eight largest pay gap in the nation. Recommendations to improve wage equity mentioned in the report include targeted recruitment of women into high-wage, male-dominated professions, expanding child care assistance eligibility, and instituting some form of paid family leave.

List of ICSW Publications

Reports about Women's Status

Iowa Gender Wage Equity Study 2010

Iowa Gender Wage Equity Study 2008

The Wage Gap for Iowa Women in their 20s and 30s

Iowa Gender Wage Study - 1999 (conducted by Iowa Workforce Development)

The Status of Women In Iowa (publication by Institute for Women's Policy Research)