The National Partnership for Women and Families released an analysis for Equal Pay Day showing that Iowa women who are employed full time are paid just 77 cents for every dollar paid to men, amounting to a yearly gap in wages of $9,879.
Collectively, this amounts to a loss of more than $4.5 billion in income every year. The analysis is based on U.S. Census Bureau data and looked at the wage gap in the country's 50 largest metropolitan areas.
According to the analysis, if the gap between men's and women's wages in Iowa were eliminated, each full-time working woman in the state could afford to pay for food for 1.6 more years, buy at least 2,750 more gallons of gas, pay mortgage and utilities for nine more months or pay rent for 15 more months.
African American women and Latinas fare worse, being paid 64 cents and 55 cents, respectively, for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. This wage gap has been closing at a rate of less than half a cent per year since passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963.
"This new analysis illustrates the great harm to families, states and metropolitan areas caused by the pervasive gender-based wage gap," Debra Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, said in a release. "With most women serving as essential breadwinners for their families, the loss of this critical income has devastating consequences."