As a result, women must spend a larger portion of their earnings paying back college loans. The report found that 47 percent of women with full-time jobs were paying more than 8 percent of their earnings to finance college loans in 2009, compared with 39 percent of men.
Lisa Maatz, director of public policy at the AAUW, said the Paycheck Fairness Act would make it easier for women to know whether they are being paid less than male workers, which could go a long way toward reducing the wage gap.
“Right now in this country, it is perfectly legal for certain businesses to make personnel policies that say you are not allowed to talk about your salary, and if you do, you can be fired,” she said. “We obviously have a huge issue with that.”
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