10 Stats on Women’s Equality That Might Be Scarier than Halloween

October 29, 2014

‘Tis the season to be scared. From horror films and costumes to jack-o’-lanterns and ghost stories, Halloween is never short on surprises. But while the holiday celebrates the spooky, every day women face scary circumstances. Ghouls, goblins, and graveyards may seem frightening, but the statistics on women’s equality reflect a reality far scarier than whatever comes out to haunt on Halloween.

Which is scarier?

Hispanic and Latina women were paid 54 percent of what white men were paid in 2013.



The pay gap affects women of all backgrounds, but unsurprisingly, race and ethnicity matter when it comes to women’s paychecks. Hispanic and Latina women face the worst disparity, getting paid only 54 percent of what white men get paid.



Women make up just 25 percent of the computing workforce and 14 percent of the engineering workforce.

Despite the higher salaries and greater prospects for employment for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers, the pipeline continues to be dominated by men. Among the computing and engineering fields, which account for 80 percent of STEM jobs, women represent less than one-quarter of the workers.

Women’s representation in Congress is only 18.5 percent.



The 2012 election cycle proved significant for women; they bolstered their political representation in Congress to an all-time high. Yet there’s still not even one woman for every five men in Congress.

creepy mike myers


Twenty-four states have never elected a woman governor.

While we’ve seen small but steady gains in women’s representation in national office, progress among state leadership has been meager. Only 35 women have served as state governors, and 24 states have never elected a woman to the governor’s seat. Several of these states have a chance to make history in the election next week, including Rhode Island and Wisconsin.

The United States ranks 60th in women’s political empowerment.


Spell Book

So much for America being a leader in feminist progress. In its most recent Global Gender Gap Report, the World Economic Forum ranked the United States 60th among 136 countries for women’s political empowerment. The ranking places the United States behind India, China, and Uganda for women’s equality in political leadership.

gross kitty


Sixty percent of sexual assaults have gone unreported since 2009.

Partly due to the shame, stigma, and fear associated with reporting a sexual assault, more than half of sexual assaults since 2009 went unreported. The likelihood of reporting is even lower on college campuses. The Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act seeks to reconcile this problem by requiring colleges and universities to create transparent prevention programs that deter violence while encouraging more victims to come forward.

Women make up just 25 percent of the computing workforce and 14 percent of the engineering workforce.



Despite representing more than half of professional-level jobs, women’s leadership within the boardrooms of America has stagnated in recent years. Among the Fortune 500, women lead only 4.6 percent of companies. Investing in women’s talent and nurturing women’s self-confidence are two methods for fostering greater opportunities for women to move up the leadership ranks (not to mention reaping the benefits of women’s perspectives).

boogie monster


More than 22 million working women do not have paid sick days.

A 2009 study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research revealed that among 22 countries highly ranked in economic and human development, the United States is the only country that does not guarantee workers paid sick days. This means that more than 22 million working women lose money when they must miss work for an illness.

Half of working mothers say that they often must take unpaid time off to care for a sick child.


Beetle Juice

Because women are often primary caregivers, a child’s illness frequently means that the mother is the one who misses work to care for the child. Unfortunately, for half of working mothers, that time is unpaid.



In 2014, state legislatures introduced more than 468 bills restricting women’s bodies. And zero bills restricting men’s bodies.

Those who say the fight for women’s rights is over need only look at these two numbers: In the past year alone, more than 468 bills related to restricting women’s health and access to reproductive rights have been introduced in state legislatures. Shockingly, zero restrictions regarding men’s bodies have been brought to the floors of statehouses.

AAUW Senior Designer Alli VanKanegan contributed to the post.

Bethany Imondi By:   |   October 29, 2014


  1. […] each dollar earned by their male counterparts; and the gender pay gap is worse for women of color. Additional statistics reveal that women are vastly underrepresented in certain areas – science and engineering […]

  2. […] to the American Association of University Women, Hispanic and Latina women were paid 54% of what white men were paid in 2013.  As of International […]

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