Return to: Index of "Intl. Organizations and Conferences" || Electronic Research Collections Index || ERC Homepage

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
August 1994 US Report to UN on Status of Women 1985-1994
GLOBAL CONFERENCE SECRETARIAT

[Section 4 of 5]

EDUCATION

Education is second only in importance to sex equity laws in promoting 
lasting equality of women in U.S. society.  Education is key to 
economic, political, and social equality for girls and women.

According to U.S. law, "education is fundamental to the development of 
individual citizens and the progress of the Nation...public 
responsibility for education is reserved respectively to the States and 
the local school systems."  Elementary and secondary school education is 
provided at public expense, under public supervision and direction, and 
without tuition charge, and cannot be denied because of race, creed, 
color, national origin, or sex.  

The Federal Department of Education, through its Office of Civil Rights, 
plays a strong role in assuring that the rights of women and girls are 
upheld.  Together with state and local school boards, parents and 
teachers, colleges, universities, academic and voluntary associations 
and non-governmental organizations, they address education issues that 
have had -- and continue to have -- a profound impact upon the status of 
women and their families.   

Progress toward ensuring equal education opportunity for women and girls 
has been centered on achieving the following objectives through 
Department of Education programs:  

  --  equal access to education, athletics, career preparation and 
employment opportunities in all fields;  
  --  elimination of stereotyping of women;
  --  eradication of illiteracy and achievement of lower dropout rates 
for women;
  --  elimination of discrimination against women;
  --  elimination of gender bias;
  --  recognition and resolution of cultural and institutional 
impediments;
  --  equitable distribution of scholarship and financial benefits 
between females and males of all ages, including athletics;
  --  increased placement in non-traditional fields (including math and 
science  professions) through counseling and incentives;
  --  retraining educational and industrial personnel to counteract 
gender stereotyping and biases; 
  --  development of statistical concepts, indicators, and methods of 
measuring educational progress and inequities among women; and
  --  increased recognition of need to resolve issues fundamental to the 
advancement of women as caretakers of children, economic providers for 
the family, and informed decision makers.  


WHERE WE WERE BEFORE 1985 AND WHERE WE ARE NOW

In the last several decades, women have been narrowing the education 
gap.  In 1970, about 53% of all U.S. women completed high school; in 
1990, 75% received a high school diploma.  It was among African American 
women that the proportion with at least 12 years of schooling increased 
most dramatically between 1970 and 1991.  Women have been more likely to 
attend school part-time while working or raising families or both.

The percentage of American women age 25 and over who have completed a 
high school education increased substantially between 1970 and 1990, 
particularly among African American women.  As of 1991, about two in 
five American women age 25 and over were high school graduates who had 
not gone on to college.  Another 18.9% -- nearly one in five -- had 
finished at least four years of college.  However, the trend with 
respect to college enrollment by African Americans is not encouraging 
and the lack of secondary education is a problem among foreign-born 
Hispanic women.

Degrees -- At the postsecondary level, women have made notable gains 
earning over half of all bachelor's degrees -- 53% in 1990, up from 43% 
in 1970.  In 1970, 8% of U.S. women completed college; in 1990, 18% 
graduated.  Women outnumbered men among the recipients of postsecondary 
degrees in 1989/90 at every level except the doctoral level.

Whether U.S.-born or not, U.S. women of Asian descent are more likely 
than other U.S. women aged 25-54 to have had four or more years of 
college.  Lower education levels are found among foreign-born women of 
Hispanic origin.  As of 1989, over 40% of those aged 25-54 had no more 
than eight years of schooling.  Of all women students in institutions of 
higher learning in 1990, one-third were at least 30 years old - double 
the comparable proportion in 1970.

Between 1976 and 1990, non-Hispanic whites continued to predominate 
heavily among college students of both sexes, although their proportion 
declined a few percentage points as the Hispanic and Asian/Pacific 
Islander proportions increased.  The trends with respect to African 
American and American Indian enrollment were not encouraging.

College enrollment of women now exceeds that of men, but women still 
choose subjects of study different from those of men and less likely to 
lead to higher paying jobs.  However, women are entering male-dominated 
fields of study in ever-increasing numbers.  For example, in 1970, less 
than 1% of all bachelor's degrees in engineering went to women, but by 
1980, 14% of all such degrees were awarded to women.  Women's share of 
science and math degrees has grown and their numbers among the graduates 
of dental, medical, and law schools have continued to increase.

[Box]

"Today, more than ever before, women can make career choices based on 
their interests and aptitudes. I hope that increasing numbers of women 
will turn to science and engineering..." Mildred Dresselhaus Institute 
Professor of Electrical Engineering and Physics, Massachusetts Institute 
of Technology and Chair of the National Academy of Sciences' Committee 
on Women in Science and Engineering

[End box]

In 1970, relatively few women majored in business and only 9% of 
business degrees went to women.  Between 1959/60 and 1989/90, women's 
share of all bachelor's degrees awarded in biology doubled, and their 
share of business degrees sextupled.  By 1990, almost as many women as 
men were business majors and fully 47% of all business degrees went to 
women.

Fields such as fine arts and foreign languages continue to be female 
dominated -- an English major graduating from college in 1989/90 was 
more likely to be a woman than had been the case 30 years earlier.  
However, fewer degrees were awarded in these fields in 1990 than in 
1970.

More women are enrolled in college particularly in their twenties and 
thirties -- since 1980, college enrollment of all women 15 to 39 years 
old has neared that for men.  Recent statistics show that women receive 
the majority of financial assistance available for education.  In 1989, 
women were 55.4% of the undergraduate student population in the U.S. and 
59.7% of students who received aid.

Women have increased their representation as college athletes since the 
early 1970s.  In 1972 women were only 15.6% of college athletes.  As of 
1993, women are 34.8% of college athletes.

In high school also, girls have made great strides.  In 1972, girls were 
only 7% of interscholastic athletes.  By 1992, girls were 37%.

However, despite the passage of a federal law, Title IX, prohibiting sex 
discrimination in education, the Feminist Majority Foundation, in a 
forthcoming report on women and sports, reports that virtually all 
coeducational high schools and colleges still do discriminate against 
women in athletics.  Women have fewer sports from which to choose than 
men, and in college, a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) 
study by the gender equity task force found that although the numbers of 
women and men on campus were roughly equal, men received 70% of 
scholarship money, 77% of operating budgets, and 83% of recruiting 
money.  No national data are currently available on expenditures for 
girls' and boys' athletics in high school.

DEGREES AWARDED TO WOMEN 1959/60-1989/90 (as a percentage of all 
undergraduate degrees awarded)

Field                           1969/70      1979/80       1989/90
Biological sciences              27.8          42.1          50.7
Business                          8.7          33.7          46.7
Computer/information sciences    13.6          30.2          30.1
Education                        75.0          73.8          78.1
Engineering                       0.8           9.3          13.8
English                          66.9          66.1          67.9
Health professions               77.1          82.2          84.3
Mathematics                      37.4          42.3          46.5
Physical sciences                13.6          23.7          31.2
Psychology                       43.3          63.3          71.5
Social sciences                  36.8          43.6          44.2
Visual and performing arts       59.7          63.2          61.4

Source: U.S. Department of Education. National Center for Education 
Statistics, Digest of Education Statistics 1992, 1992, Tables 263, 265, 
266, 267, 269, 272, 273, 275, 276, 278, 280, and 282.

[End box]


FEDERAL ACTION -- LEGISLATION

Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 is the principal federal 
law which prohibits sex discrimination in education.  It protects 
students, faculty and staff.  It applies institution-wide to all 
educational institutions and systems of education which receive any 
federal financial assistance.  Title IX's broad coverage is guaranteed 
by the Civil Rights Restoration Act passed by Congress in March 1988. 

Title IX assures that federal funds do not subsidize sex discrimination 
in education -- if a covered institution discriminates on the basis of 
gender, it may loose its federal funding.  Title IX offers a valuable 
enforcement tool -- individuals may seek to secure their rights either 
through an administrative complaint with the federal government agency 
which has funded the institution or by filing a private lawsuit.  

There are certain exceptions to Title IX coverage -- it does not apply 
to admissions practices in elementary or secondary schools or to private 
undergraduate institutions.  This was not to condone such 
discrimination, but rather reflected Congress' view that it had 
insufficient information to formulate a policy for the elementary and 
secondary levels.  Title IX does prohibit discrimination in admissions 
to institutions of: vocational education, professional education, and 
graduate higher education.

The implementing regulations spell out prohibited practices Covered 
institutions may not:

  --  prefer applicants of one sex by ranking applicants separately by 
sex,
  --  apply numerical limitations upon the number or proportion of 
persons of either sex who may be admitted,
  --  use tests which have a disproportionately adverse impact on the 
basis of sex, 
  --  treat male and female applicants differently based on their actual 
or potential parental, family or marital status, or make preadmission 
inquiries as to the marital status of an applicant including whether 
such applicant is Miss or Mrs.
 or, 
  --  discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, childbirth, termination of 
pregnancy or recovery therefrom, or disabilities related to these 
conditions.

Gender-based employment discrimination is a significant problem in 
education where women continue to be seriously under-represented in the 
higher-status and higher-paying categories.  In 1986-87 women were 70% 
of classroom teachers but only 24% and 4% of school principals and 
superintendents respectively.  In 1987-88, male professors earned an 
average of $48,060 compared to females' $42,380.  Women are scarcer at 
higher tenure ranks -- only 12% of full professors, 25% of associate 
professors, and 38% of assistant professors are female.

In 1983, the Department of Education entered into an agreement with the 
EEOC regarding the coordination of administrative employment 
discrimination complaints.  Individual Title IX employment complaints 
are first forwarded to the EEOC for processing.  Complaints that allege 
a pattern and practice of discrimination against more than one employee 
or discrimination against both  students and staff are pursued under the 
Department of Education.

In athletics the Feminist Majority Foundation reports that women do not 
fare as well as men either as coaches or athletic administrators.

Coaches of women's teams are still paid less than coaches of men's 
teams.  Out of 14 sports that have men's and women's teams, the Division 
I men's head and assistant coaches' combined average base salaries were 
more than the women's in all sports --sometimes a lot more.  In 
basketball, men's head coaches were paid an average of $71,511, but the 
women's coaches made only $39,177.  Even in female-dominated sports like 
gymnastics, the men's coaches were paid more on average.  And because 
most schools offer more sports for men than women, the average combined 
spending for men's coaches salaries was $625,396 for Division I schools, 
but only $227,871 for women's team.

Moreover, as the salaries of coaches of women's teams increased with 
Title IX, male coaches began to displace female coaches.  In 1972, the 
year Title IX was signed into law, over 90% of women's teams were 
coached by women.  Now, almost half of women's college teams are coached 
by men, but only 1% of men's teams are coached by women.  The record is 
not much better at secondary schools.  As of 1990, over 40% of girls' 
teams are coached by men, but only 2% of boys' teams are coached by 
women.  Seventy-five percent of all high school teams were coached by 
men.

Women are also poorly represented in administrative positions within 
sport, Less than 17% of college women's athletic programs are headed by 
women, and women fill only 29% of all administrative jobs in women's 
programs.  In high school, less than 20% of athletic directors are 
women, and less than 40% of directors of physical education are women.

Sexual harassment is a problem at all educational levels.  Studies at 
various universities confirm that it is widespread -- as many as one out 
of four surveyed female students say they have been sexually harassed by 
a male teacher.  A Harvard University study found 32% of tenured female 
faculty had experienced pressure for sexual favors by a superior and 49% 
of non-tenured women faculty experienced some form of harassment.

Under Title IX, an institution may be held liable for the sexual 
harassment of students by faculty, administrators, or other employees.  
It may also be liable for offending behavior of employee toward 
employee, or of students toward teachers or other students.

Institutions may not require males and females to meet different 
eligibility standards in order to qualify for financial aid, including 
athletic scholarships.  Neither may they treat married or single men 
differently from similarly situated women or treat pregnant women 
differently from men in terms of eligibility for financial assistance.

CURRENT CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES

The Women's Educational Equity Act (WEEA) was established in 1974, but 
funding declined throughout the 1980's.  A proposed Gender Equity in 
Education Act (GEEA), a package of nine bills addressing gender bias in 
elementary and secondary schools, would create an Office of Women's 
Equity in the Department of Education.  Under GEEA -- schools could use 
federal funds to implement professional development programs providing 
teachers with effective strategies for gender-fair, culturally-sensitive 
teaching, and more federal dropout prevention program monies would go 
toward efforts to assist pregnant and female parenting teens to complete 
high school (one-fourth of all dropouts are related to 
pregnancy/parenting).

[Box]

Department of Education Policy

In 1993, the Secretary of Education established the Education Equity 
Task Force to ensure that equity is an integral part of all Departmental 
programs and management practices and decisions.

[End box]


Goals 2000:  Educate America Act.  PL 103-227, signed into law March 31, 
1991. - Goals 2000, monitored by the Department of Education, 
establishes a national framework for education reform that provides an 
equal educational opportunity for all students -- including women and 
girls -- to meet high academic standards.  Included are certified 
voluntary national opportunity-to-learn standards to address the extent 
to which schools' curricula and instructional practices are 
nondiscriminatory on the basis of gender.  States may also use Federal 
money to implement State improvement plans that provide special 
attention to the needs of female students.

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ACTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS -- EDUCATION OF GIRLS

In 1990-91, the American Association of University Women (AAUW) began 
promoting an Initiative for Educational Equity with the goal of 
challenging parents, teachers, business leaders, public officials, and 
opinion-makers to address the issue of how schools help girls grow into 
women capable of making the most of their talents and potential.  

In the late 1980's, the AAUW Educational Foundation broadened its 
mission to include the equitable education of girls.  Until that time, 
its efforts centered on awarding post-graduate fellowships to women, 
under-represented in many areas of higher education.  Although equity in 
education has been mandated by federal law since 1972, studies continued 
to indicate that girls were not receiving the same quality of education 
as boys.

In two reports, How Schools Shortchange Girls (1992) and Hostile 
Hallways: The AAUW Survey on Sexual Harassment in America's Schools 
(1993), AAUW brought to public light persistent and pervasive patterns 
of gender bias and shattered the assumption that girls and boys are 
treated equally in public schools in the U.S.  Also uncovered in the 
course of AAUW research -- sexual harassment  is on the rise in 
classroom environments.

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ACTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS -- THE GIRL CHILD - BEYOND 
EDUCATION

The National Girls Initiative (NGI) was begun in 1991 by the Ms. 
Foundation for Women, a multi-issue foundation dedicated to issues 
affecting women and girls.  The NGI was the Foundation's response to 
research showing that girls seem to struggle and suffer more than boys 
as they move into adulthood.  Major components of the NGI include 
Programmed Neglect:Not Seen, Not Heard, a national survey and 
accompanying report documenting the lack of adequate programming for 
girls; Take Our Daughters To Work Day, a high visibility annual event 
that focuses attention on the needs and concerns of girls; and Healthy 
Girls/Healthy Women, a national roundtable on girls' health.

     Programmed Neglect:Not Seen, Not Heard

     In 1992, the Ms. Foundation conducted a national survey of 112 
programs for girls, 15 women's foundations and several former 
practitioners.  Program areas covered included teen pregnancy, 
education, career options, child abuse, child sexual abuse, substance 
abuse, residential services, and gang related programs.  The survey 
revealed that less than 8% of all programs provide services to girls 
between the ages of 9 and 15.  As a result, in 1993, the Foundation 
published Programmed Neglect:Not Seen, Not Heard.  This report shows the 
alarming lack of programming aimed specifically at girls and the 
problems they face living in a violent and sexist world.  Programmed 
Neglect outlines the characteristics of programs that work for girls and 
highlights some of the few programs that are helping girls grapple with 
the complexities of their lives.

     Take Our Daughters To Work Day (TODTWD)

     In 1993, the Ms. Foundation held its first annual Take Our 
Daughters To Work Day.  The event has mobilized parents, educators, 
employers, and other caring adults to take action to redress the 
inequities in girls' lives and focus national attention on the needs, 
concerns, hopes, and dreams of girls.  Millions of girls participated in 
1993 and 1994, flooding workplaces in rural and urban sites, coast to 
coast, as well as internationally in England, Scotland, Canada, and New 
Zealand.  According to a recent Roper-Starch Poll, about twenty-five 
million Americans participated in Take Our Daughters To Work Day in 
1994, and one hundred and twenty-five million have heard about it.  As a 
public education effort, the project makes girls visible, valued and 
heard for more than this one day a year.

     Healthy Girls/Healthy Women (HG/HW)

     In March 1994, funded by the Ortho Pharmaceutical Company, the Ms. 
Foundation convened over thirty pre-eminent researchers and 
practitioners from the fields of medicine, psychology, developmental 
psychopathology, education, and girls' programming to discuss what was 
known and what was needed to be known in order to keep girls healthy 
from childhood through the transition into adult womanhood.  The focus 
of this researchers' roundtable was and continues to be understanding 
how girls stay healthy during the transition into adulthood.  A report 
of their findings will be published shortly. 

The Association for Women in Science (AWIS), a non-profit association 
founded twenty-three years ago, is dedicated to increasing the 
educational and employment opportunities for both girls and women in all 
fields of science.  More than 60 percent of the 5,000 AWIS members hold 
doctorates in their fields, spanning the life sciences, physical 
sciences, mathematics, social sciences, and engineering.  

--  AWIS and its 63 chapters have recently completed a three-year 
$400,000 mentoring program with support from the Alfred P. Sloan 
Foundation.  The program, which included one-on-one mentoring, small 
group discussion meetings, large workshops with prominent speakers, 
laboratory experience, and exposure to scientific conferences, was 
designed to encourage and retain undergraduate and graduate women in the 
sciences.  A detailed final publication called Mentoring Means Future 
Scientists, which presents and analyzes the results of this mentoring 
program, was published last year.

--  AWIS has published a number of resources, including A Hand Up:  
Women Mentoring Women in Science.  A Hand Up contains advice and 
reflections from accomplished women scientists designed to dispel many 
of the myths about mentoring and to encourage scientists to become 
mentors to young women seeking advice and guidance.

--  In addition, AWIS organized a national conference, "Women in Science 
and Engineering Leadership:  Taking the Initiative," with support from 
the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Aeronautics and Space 
Administration (NASA) held in Washington, D.C. May 12-14, 1994.  Mid-
career women scientists and engineers were invited to participate in a 
program that focused on the development of leadership skills as a 
crucial aspect to achieve the full integration of women into the 
sciences.  The conference's program concentrated on creating a 
leadership culture in science and engineering by generating visions for 
change, developing clear strategies and directions for women, as well as 
motivating and inspiring fellow female scientists and engineers.

FEDERAL ACTION -- SPECIAL PROGRAMS

The U.S. Department of Education finances and supports a number of 
programs with special emphasis on improving the status of women and 
girls.  The Office of Vocational and Adult Education has two programs 
designed to help eliminate sex bias: P.L. 101-392, the Carl D. Perkins 
Act, funds the Sex Equity Program and the programs for Single Parents, 
Displaced Homemakers and Single Pregnant Women.  The Perkins Act 
requires each State to earmark a specific percentage of the State's 
Federal vocational education funds for each of these programs.

The Single Parents, Displaced Homemakers and Single Pregnant Women 
Program funds may be used to subsidize, reimburse, or pay for 
preparatory services; to provide dependent care, transportation, 
supplies, books and materials, career counseling and other related 
services; or to inform members of these groups about vocational 
education programs and related support services.  

The Sex Equity Program provides services for women aged 14 through 25, 
and is designed to enable them to support themselves and their families.  
It provides support services including dependent care and 
transportation, comprehensive career guidance and counseling, and funds 
activities to eliminate sex bias and stereotyping in secondary and post-
secondary vocational education.  The aim is to increase career and 
employment opportunities for young women by ensuring equal access to 
nontraditional vocational education and training programs.

[Box]

FEMALE PARTICIPATION

Recent data indicate that the rate of female participation (age 18 
through 34) in vocational education programs is slightly higher than 
male participation.  About 5% of males were enrolled in October 1990 
compared to a 6% rate for females.  Concomitantly, employment rates for 
teenage women were lower than males'.  Female vocational education 
students were more likely not to be in the work force.  About 31% of 
females compared to 18% of male vocational students (age 18 through 34) 
were unemployed during the October 1990 period.

[End box]


[Box]

TENURE

In 1990/91, as in 1980/81, most of the men on the faculties of four-year 
colleges and universities had tenure and most of their female 
counterparts did not.

In an important case for academic women, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court 
in University of Pennsylvania v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission 
held that the EEOC has the power to subpoena confidential tenure review 
files from a university accused of discriminating in denying tenure to a 
professor.  In previous litigation, courts had been hesitant to delve 
into the motives of well-educated and prestigious faculty members on 
behalf of discrimination litigants and had agreed that academic freedom 
protected personnel decisions within universities.

[End box]


FEDERAL ACTION -- LITERACY PROGRAMS

The U.S. pledged (with other nations represented at the 1990 WORLD 
CONFERENCE ON EDUCATION FOR ALL) to reduce the illiteracy rate to one-
half of the 1990 level by the year 2000 with sufficient emphasis on 
female illiteracy.  This pledge is confirmed as one of the Six National 
Education Goals.  

An ongoing effort to combat illiteracy among persons of all ages (with 
particular emphasis upon those with limited English proficiency is 
supported by the U.S. Congress, the general public, industry, and 
nonprofit and non-governmental organizations.  The National Institute 
for Literacy was established under the National Literacy Act of 1991, to 
serve as a focal point to coordinate literacy efforts at the federal, 
state and local levels.

ADVANCEMENT SINCE 1985

In 1988, the U.S. Congress called on the Department of Education to 
support a national literacy survey of America's adults.  The National 
Adult Literacy Survey, released in September 1993, is the first effort 
to provide accurate and detailed information on this skill in the adult 
population as a whole.  This important instrument explores literacy in 
the work force, literacy and education linkage; literacy among older 
adults, literacy in the prison population, literacy and cultural 
diversity, and literacy practices.  

Adult Education Programs have been a vital resource for educationally 
disadvantaged women and young adult females.  While not targeted to 
women, 1984-91 enrollment was 52% female to 48% male.

HOW ARE WE DOING?

Two literacy programs -- the Workplace Literacy Program and the Family 
Literacy Program -- could potentially have a significant effect on the 
advancement of women and girls.  The Department of Education is 
optimistic that with increased participation in these programs an 
important obstacle to long-term employment opportunities will be 
removed.  These programs may play a crucial role in reducing the drop-
out rates of young women and reducing the unemployment rates of both 
women and girls.

The Workplace Literacy Program, which combines employment training with 
literacy instruction, offers an opportunity for working men and women to 
develop academic and occupational skills needed in the workplace.  It 
provides basic skills training that is required by employers.  This 
includes reading and writing skills and job-specific training to advance 
productivity at a national level.  This program is implemented through 
partnerships among business, industry, labor organizations and 
educational agencies.


WORK

EMPLOYMENT

Women's participation in the labor force continues to increase.  The 
majority of adult women are at work or looking for work.  The proportion 
of women 16 years old and over in the labor force increased from 50% in 
1980 to 57% in 1990.  In 1990, the number of women with full time year 
round jobs was 32.5 million.  The labor force participation rate of 
women aged 55 to 64 has risen from 27 percent in 1950 to 47.3 percent in 
1993, according to the American Association of Retired Persons.
  
The increased employment of women is a central issue in the 
consideration of the economic status of women in our society.  Despite 
the fact that there has been no discernible reduction in household and 
family responsibilities, women have joined the U.S. labor force in 
record numbers.  
 
The distribution of both women and men across occupations has changed, 
sometimes dramatically, since 1970.  Despite some evidence of non-
traditional employment or some workers such as female carpenters, 
plumbers, and masons, and male nurses, the overall labor market remains 
sharply segregated by sex.  Even though women have made progress in 
entering occupations predominately held by men in the past, especially 
managerial and professional specialty occupations, the majority of women 
are still in traditional "female" occupations.

Women continue to be over represented in clerical (administrative 
support) and service occupations and under represented in production, 
craft, repair, and laborer occupations.


[Box]

For over 30 years, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) of the 
Department of Labor has collected and disseminated employment statistics 
on women on a monthly, quarterly, and annual basis.  Such data are 
published by age, race, and marital and family status (presence and age 
of children).  Earnings data for women are also published by occupation, 
industry, hours of work, and other variables.  Geographic detail on 
women's employment status is also published.

In addition to data based on the monthly labor force survey, BLS has 
recently begun to analyze and publish findings from the National 
Longitudinal Survey.  These data show how women's labor force and 
employment status changes with age, and appropriate attention is paid to 
the child-bearing years.  Gender-specific data published by BLS are used 
by various groups and government agencies such as the Women's Bureau to 
make decisions and promote programs and policies for the advancement of 
women. 

[End box]


CONTINGENT WORK

Involuntary/Voluntary, Part-time, Temporary, Consultant, Homework, Self-
employed Work Arrangements -- No established definition or reliable 
estimate of contingent workers exists to date.  Only two categories -- 
temporary workers and involuntary part-timers (2% and 5.4% of total 
employment, respectively ) have significantly grown since 1979.  
Temporary workers tend to be disproportionately women, young, African 
American, less educated, and poor.  Two thirds of all part-time workers 
and 60% of all temporary workers are women, with employers moving 
towards making such part-time work shifts a permanent feature of the 
workforce.

Most displaced homemakers, i.e. women re-entering the paid workforce 
after divorce, widowhood or child-rearing, do so into part-time jobs; 
and 40% of employed single mothers work less than full-time/full-year 
jobs.  Women also disproportionately work in industries such as cleaning 
and food service that increasingly use sub-contracting and "independent 
contractor" relationships.

Part-time employees earn 38% less per hour than full-time employees; 
temporary employees earn 20% less than permanent.  Nearly 75% of part-
time, full-year employees do not receive health insurance benefits 
through their employers; 90% of part-time, part-year employees do not 
receive employer-paid health insurance coverage.  However, part time 
work is important to older women, according to the American Association 
of Retired Persons, which points out that women over age 65 have access 
to Medicare health insurance.

A significant and growing number of women, among them middle-to-low 
income women, are working in their homes for wages.  The U.S.Department 
of Transportation reports that approximately 2 million workers 
telecommute to work, i.e. work in their homes for an employer by 
computer and modem; the Department of Labor indicates that 20 million 
workers in the U.S. did at least some work at home in 1991, compared 
with 18.1 million in 1985.  Although some women homeworkers are 
professionals, most type, assemble electronics parts, enter data into 
computers, process insurance claims, assemble parts, and do piece work 
for the garment industry.  There is some insecurity among these 
homeworkers since they are often misclassified as independent 
contractors who, unlike employees, do not receive benefits, raises, wage 
equity, and job security.

The Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor hosted an historic forum 
on labor law reform in October 1993, responding to the need for women 
workers' concerns to be placed at the heart of the agenda of the 
Commission on the Future of Labor-Management Relations.  In May 1994, 
the Commission released a fact-finding report covering the rise of 
contingent work and the resultant lack of job security and other 
benefits for working women.  Legislative recommendations by the 
Commission are due by the end of 1994.  

In April 1994, a coalition of 23 non-governmental women's organizations 
testified before the Commission on the Future of Worker-Management 
Relations about this growing phenomenon among women workers -- "calling 
the phenomenon the emergence of a second class work force."

Speaking for the coalition, Judith Lichtman, president of the Women's 
Legal Defense Fund, said the coalition found that contrary to popular 
assumptions empirical evidence does not show that the majority of women 
voluntarily choose certain forms of contingent employment, such as part 
time work, to accommodate family caretaking responsibilities.  In fact, 
in 1989, women were 44% more likely than men to work part time 
involuntarily.

The coalition called on employers and employees to fashion voluntary 
part-time and other flexible scheduling arrangements.  Noting that 
people who choose such arrangements do not choose to forego fair pay, 
decent benefits and labor protection, the coalition urged that such 
contingent work relationships not be used to keep women at the bottom of 
the pay scale without benefits, status or security.  The coalition 
further advised businesses searching for ways to enhance productivity to 
invest in their workers, by providing adequate wages and benefits, 
skills training, promotion, and family-friendly policies on a non-
discriminatory basis.  

The Commission was urged to promote labor law reform in pay equity, to 
protect women labor organizers from sexual harassment, to examine the 
contingent workforce who are not part of companies' core employees, and 
to ensure that these workers have access to collective bargaining 
arrangements.

FEDERAL ACTION

DoL is reviewing the laws and regulations it enforces and the programs 
it administers to determine whether contingent workers of all types are 
adequately served.  Issues under examination include:   

--  whether contingent workers are included in the definition of 
employee/employer relationships for each of the laws, regulations and 
programs under its jurisdiction -- especially as those definitions are 
used to determine a worker's rights or benefits;
--  enforcement of existing laws so that exclusion of contingent workers 
can be prevented;   
--  programs and services enabling workers to access core jobs (as 
opposed to contingent jobs) that offer job security, adequate benefits 
and labor law protection.  

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ACTION AND ACHIEVEMENTS

As reported in U.S. News and World Report (July 4, 1994), AT&T has 
established a pilot program that will employ about 100 workers in 1994.  
These workers will float from job to job but they will be permanent 
employees and thus receive the benefits of full-time workers.  The 
program is in part a response to the Communications Workers of America's 
(CWA) discoveries that between 1990 and 1993 AT&T was violating its 
contract by employing temporary workers for more than 90 days.

UNWAGED WORK

Increasingly, grassroots women organizers, mainstream feminists, and 
economists are arriving at a common conclusion -- women's unpaid work in 
the home, on the land and in the community counts, i.e. has economic 
value, and must be counted.

For the past 20 years, there has been an organized, international effort 
by such related grassroots groups as the International Wages for 
Housework Campaign, its national, regional and ethnic affiliates, and 
Housewives in Dialogue, to have women's unwaged work recognized and 
counted internationally and nationally.  Although other non-governmental 
organizations have also been active in similar efforts, the Wages for 
Housework network led the effort at the UN Conference on Women in 
Nairobi where they lobbied vigorously and successfully for it to be 
included in the UN platform of action.

The Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies call for the unremunerated 
contributions of women to all aspects and sectors of development -- to 
be recognized, measured and reflected in national accounts and economic 
statistics and in the gross national product.

ADVANCEMENT SINCE 1985

A loose network of organizations and individuals called the Women Count 
Network have manifested support for having unwaged work at least 
counted, if not paid.  In large part due to their efforts, in 1991, 
Congresswoman Barbara-Rose Collins proposed the Unremunerated Work Act.  

This bill would require the Bureau of Labor Statistics to determine a 
dollar value for unpaid services like housework, caring for children or 
the elderly, agricultural work, volunteer work and work in a family 
business so that the amount could be added to the Gross National 
Product.  (The effort would count the unpaid work of men as well.)  
Secretary of Labor Robert Reich has agreed with the legislation in 
principle but has cautioned that "policy and technical issues require 
further research and study before legislation of this kind is enacted, 
and before much needed personnel, money, and other resources are 
devoted to this activity."


CURRENT CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES

To some extent the measuring of unpaid work has begun -- sporadically 
and incrementally.  Divorce settlements often place a value on a wife's 
unpaid contribution to her husband's career; volunteer work is 
considered as relevant experience for paid jobs; efforts for legislative 
reform acknowledge the work that women do as primary care providers in 
the home for children, elderly and sick family members.  Recently, the 
U.S. Census Bureau, in the North Central States, a large farming region, 
counted as paid the unpaid work of farm wives who work 15 hours a week 
or more at farming, counting it as a contribution to the owner's 
business.  (It should be noted that persons who perform unpaid work of 
15 hours or more a week in a family business have been included in 
estimates of employment in the U.S. labor force survey since the 
1940's.)   

Some economists urge further research that analyzes household activities 
and differentiates between leisure and work, and that takes account of 
household labor.  They claim that, among other things, it would help 
explain fluctuation in U.S. economic activity since World War II, and 
that it would serve as a practical indicator of consumer purchases and 
trends.

There is a growing sense that counting women's work is more than a good 
will gesture towards women's self-esteem, but a pragmatic step towards 
gaining a realistic picture of the economy and the workforce needed to 
sustain it. 

A Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank Report argues that benefits will 
outweigh costs of the analysis and all that is required is "a home 
production function that transforms home labor and capital into home 
output, just as the standard market production function transforms 
market labor and capital into  market output.  The household and 
business sectors simply need to be treated symmetrically."    

Nevertheless, there is no consensus in the economic community about 
numerous conceptual and methodological issues regarding the measurement 
and valuation of unpaid work.  One of the first unresolved issues is 
deciding exactly what should be measured.  Any attempt at surveying 
unwaged work would have to develop a methodology for distinguishing 
productive and personal activities.  One difficulty in this regard is 
that what is considered productive may depend on social norms that 
change over time.

Beyond the difficulties of defining the productive activities that 
should be measured are the problems arising from trying to gauge the 
amount of time devoted to such activities.  For example, people may 
typically perform several of the activities at the same time.  A way to 
estimate the monetary value of the time spent on these activities would 
have to be developed.  Various approaches for doing so have been 
suggested, each with certain advantages and limitations.  Much 
additional research will be needed to arrive at a consensus on the best 
approach to all these issues.  

Finally, after the conceptual and methodological questions are answered, 
it needs to be acknowledged that substantial budgetary resources would 
have to be devoted to designing, testing, and implementing a data 
collection instrument.  While the measurement of unpaid work clearly is 
an important topic, it is equally clear that difficult decisions have to 
be made before such measures can be produced.


EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION

WHERE WE WERE IN 1985

Equal employment opportunity for U.S. women is required by the Equal Pay 
Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The 
Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978 amended Title VII to make clear 
that discrimination because of pregnancy or childbirth is prohibited.*  
As amended, Title VII provides broad protection against employment 
discrimination based on sex, race, color, religion, or national origin.  
Under Title VII, it is unlawful to discriminate on the basis of sex in 
any aspect of employment: recruitment, hiring, promoting, firing, job 
assignment, pay, training, fringe benefits, or any other term or 
condition.  State and local laws also protect women against sex  
discrimination in employment; in some cases protection of these laws may 
be more extensive than federal law.

==========
* In 1987, the Supreme Court held - in California Savings and Loan v. 
Gierra - that under Title VII, employers cannot provide fewer benefits 
for a pregnant women, than for others temporarily disabled, but states 
may require additional leave for pregnancy without violating the federal 
law.
==========

Title VII remedies were designed to make the victim "whole" -- put her 
in the place she would have been but for the discrimination, and to 
deter employers from discrimination.  Traditional remedies have included 
requirements for hiring, reinstatement, promotion, back pay, attorney 
fees and court orders to eliminate discriminatory practices.  Under the 
"make whole" theory, damages were not originally available under Title 
VII.  However, damages in an amount equal to back pay have been 
available under the Equal Pay Act since 1963. 

ADVANCEMENT SINCE THEN

During the last decade women workers have narrowed the range of work 
place behavior they will accept without taking action.  Some file 
grievances with their unions alleging employment discrimination; some go 
to court; some form employee groups to offer support and to brainstorm 
about common problems; some confide experiences of discrimination, 
including sexual harassment, to other women workers; some report to 
members of the media their own experience and that of other women, 
sometimes withholding permission to publish their names; others, after 
filing complaints and waiting in frustration for just resolution, 
relinquish their personal privacy in order to make public their 
discrimination complaints.  In recent years, the legal system has been 
effectively challenged to make good its promises of even-handed, speedy 
resolution of gender-based employment discrimination.  For example, the 
U.S. Supreme Court has held that gender specific fetal protection 
policies, which do not reflect a bona fide occupational qualification, 
are unlawful.  The nature of sex discrimination as defined by the courts 
and the legislatures continues to evolve over time.  

The comprehensive Civil Rights Act of 1991 increased women's and 
minorities' protection against job discrimination, overturning several 
Supreme Court decisions rendered from 1988-91 that had weakened 
employees' rights, made discrimination difficult to prove and altered 
the balance between employers and employees by restoring the burden of 
proof to the employer.

The 1991 Act added significant financial penalties and authorized jury 
trials in cases of intentional discrimination.  An employer who 
intentionally discriminates now may be liable for compensatory and 
punitive damages up to US$300,000 per claimant.  Compensatory damages 
may be awarded for actual monetary losses, including medical treatment 
costs, and for nonmonetary losses such as emotional pain and suffering.  
Punitive damages can be awarded where an employer has acted with malice 
or reckless disregard of the law.  These financial remedies are 
particularly important for certain types of sex discrimination -- such 
as sexual harassment -- where the usual Title VII remedies such as back 
pay or reinstatement may not provide real relief for the intangible harm 
suffered, or be a sufficient deterrent for employers to eliminate such 
practices.  An employer also may be required to set remedial goals for 
women where they traditionally have been excluded or are under-
represented in jobs.

These Civil Rights laws are enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity 
Commission (EEOC).  Because sex discrimination sometimes takes forms 
that are different from other discrimination, the EEOC has issued sex 
discrimination guidelines.  The guidelines provide a narrow 
interpretation of what constitutes a bona fide occupational 
qualification.  For example, the guidelines state that the refusal to 
hire an individual cannot be based on assumed employment characteristics 
of women and that preferences of customers or existing employees may not 
be the basis for refusing to hire an individual.  The guidelines declare 
that it is an unlawful employment practice to classify a job as male or 
female; maintain separate lines of progression or seniority systems; or 
advertise for workers under male and female job class.

The guidelines say that State laws which prohibit or limit the 
employment of women in certain occupations (in jobs requiring the 
lifting or carrying of weights over certain prescribed limits, or for 
work during certain hours of the night, for more than a specified number 
of hours per day or per week, and for certain periods of time before and 
after childbirth) discriminate on the basis of sex because such laws do 
not take into account the capacities, preferences, and abilities of 
individual women.  Thus, these laws conflict with and are superseded by 
Title VII.  This position has been upheld in a series of court cases; 
the conflict between Federal and State laws on this point was largely 
resolved in the early 1970's.


[Box]

Terminations
For the period October 1, 1993 through June 30, 1994, terminations were 
the single largest category of sex discrimination complaints filed with 
the EEOC (under Title VII).  Terminations, like other employment 
decisions, must be made without discrimination on the basis of sex, 
race, religion, and national origin.  

Fairness and issues of notice of inadequate work performance with 
opportunity to respond and to correct the problem have only recently 
formed a basis for legal challenge for employees who are not covered by 
collective bargaining agreements.  Up to about 30 years ago, the legal 
relationship between employers and employees was governed almost 
completely by the doctrine of "employment-at-will," which meant that in 
the U.S. an employer could fire an employee "for good cause, for no 
cause, or even for cause morally wrong, without being thereby guilty of 
legal wrong."  With the expansion of exceptions to the employment-at-
will doctrine in many States today, employees cannot be discharged 
without just cause as readily as in the past.

[End box]


The EEOC guidelines also declare that it is an unlawful employment 
practice for an employer to discriminate between men and women with 
regard to fringe benefits (such as medical, hospital, accident, life 
insurance, and retirement benefits; profit-sharing and bonus plans; and 
leave) and other terms, conditions and privileges of employment.  For 
example, it is unlawful for an employer to have a pension or retirement 
plan that specifies different benefits on the basis of sex.  The U.S. 
Supreme Court has upheld this guideline in a case involving a city 
agency that required female employees to make larger contributions to 
its pension fund than were made by male employees, City of Los Angeles 
v. Manhart.  The city agency had based its practice on mortality tables 
and on its experience that female employees had greater longevity than 
male employees, resulting in a greater pension cost for the average 
female retiree than for the average male retiree.

Subsequently, the Court ruled in Arizona Governing Committee v. Norris 
that employers cannot provide lower monthly retirement benefits for 
women than for men.

In 1990, the Supreme Court provided another important legal protection 
against pregnancy discrimination.  During the 1980's many employers 
established policies excluding pregnant women or all women of a 
childbearing age from jobs that might endanger the health of a 
developing fetus.  Frequently these were good, highpaying jobs.  The 
Court ruled, in United Auto Workers v. Johnson Controls, that fetal 
protection policies are facially discriminatory and are not justified as 
a "bona fide occupational qualification."  The Court reasoned that 
concerns about fetal safety do not relate to female employees' ability 
to perform the job and therefore cannot provide a lawful basis for 
excluding fertile women.


[Box]

The largest damage award settlement to date under Title VII required the 
State Farm Insurance Company to pay at least $157 million in a class 
action suit.  The court found that the employer deliberately did not 
hire female agents throughout California.  The original plaintiff filed 
suit after being denied a job as an agent after 12 years as an agent's 
assistant.  She was denied employment on the basis that she could not be 
protected while on the job at night and that she lacked a college 
degree, though more than half of male agents lacked such degree.

[End box]


The EEOC receives and investigates discrimination complaints and where 
it finds that they are justified, tries to resolve them through 
conciliation.  Where conciliation fails, EEOC may file suit in court or 
authorize the complainant to file a private suit.  EEOC Commissioners 
also may file charges against companies.

EEOC continues to receive rising numbers of sex discrimination 
complaints (more than 41,000 in 1992, compared to 31,000 in 1985), and 
to litigate many sex discrimination cases (the largest single basis of 
EEOC litigation).  Among the areas where EEOC enforcement and guidance 
activities and court decisions have helped reduce gender-based 
employment discrimination are:  pregnancy-related discrimination 
(including employer "fetal protection" policies), discrimination in 
retirement benefits, systemic practices that exclude women from 
traditionally gender-segregated jobs, and sexual harassment in the 
workplace.   

CURRENT CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES -- PARTICIPATION IN THE LABOR FORCE

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission found that in 1992, 
women held about 47% of all jobs in the private sector compared to 42.6% 
in 1982.  Their employment grew at a rate more than three times that of 
men.  The highest rate was women in professional jobs.  While the 
percentage of white women in professional jobs increased about 26%, the 
increase among African American women was a considerably higher 46%.

Women also increased their representation as officials and managers in 
private industry during this decade -- in 1992, they held 30.5% of these 
jobs.  Yet, in both private and public sectors, women continue to be 
concentrated in the lower paying office and clerical jobs -- holding 
more than 8 of every 10 such jobs.  Women also hold more than half of 
the generally low paid sales and service jobs.  


FEDERAL ACTION -- LEGISLATION

In 1990, the Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW) Act was enacted 
to broaden the range of job training and placements for women.  The 
legislation encourages the training and placement of women in 
nontraditional areas of job growth characterized by potentially high 
earnings.  Nontraditional is defined as any "occupation or field of work 
where women comprise less than 25 percent" of the employment.  Among 
other provisions, the Act calls for statewide coordination between the 
Job Training Partnership Act and other resources available for training 
women for nontraditional jobs.  The Women's Bureau administers the four-
year demonstration program that makes grants to states to develop 
demonstration and exemplary programs to train and place women in 
nontraditional employment.

In 1992, the Women in Apprenticeship and Nontraditional Occupations Act 
was signed into law, establishing support for community-based 
organizations to guide employers and labor unions.  Congress 
appropriated funds for this act into the fiscal year 1994 DoL budget.  
The Women's Bureau and the Bureau of Apprenticeship Training co-
administer this Act.  The first awards under this program are planned 
for September 1994 to promote opportunities for women in apprenticeship 
and nontraditional occupations.


[Box]

Women in the Garment Industry

The Women's Bureau is supporting research on women in the U.S. garment 
industry, including immigrant women, through research grants and 
sponsorship of a conference, "Women in the Changing U.S. Apparel 
Industry," where research results were presented, in March 1994.  The 
research and conference address the effects of restructuring in the 
industry, the history and present circumstances of women workers, 
immigrant labor and sweatshops, high technology and its effect on 
women's labor, the future for women garment workers, and policy 
recommendations.

[End box]


WAGES AND BENEFITS

WHERE WE WERE IN 1985

The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), administered by the Department of 
Labor provides important labor standards protection for women and men in 
virtually all occupations.  Enacted in 1938, the FLSA, is the law of 
most general application to workers in the U.S.  The law requires that 
all covered and nonexempt employees must be paid a minimum wage 
(currently $4.25 an hour) and not less than one and one-half times their 
regular rates of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a work-week. It 
also prohibits oppressive child labor by requiring the Secretary of 
Labor to regulate the employment of children.  It is estimated that more 
than half of the U.S. workforce subject to the FLSA minimum wage and 
overtime provisions are women.

ADVANCEMENTS SINCE THEN

The decade of the 1980's was marked by a decline of nearly ten percent 
in the wage difference between men and women.  In 1982 women working 
full-time year-round earned 62 percent of what men did, while in 1992 
women earned 70.6 percent of what men did.  While a substantial 
increase, women's wages are still significantly lower than men's wages.

Over the past decade women's need for higher earnings has grown as their 
role in supporting their families has expanded.  The proportion of two-
income families with children has increased from 36 percent of all 
families with children in 1975 to 47 percent of all such families in 
1993, while the proportion of single female earner families with 
children has risen to 18 percent of all families with children (Hartman 
and Spalter-Roth, 1994:7).  With men's real wages falling throughout the 
1980's, any real income gains made by low and middle income families 
came from women's earnings (U.S. Congress, Joint Economic Committee,  
1992: Families on a Treadmill:  Work and Income in the 1980s.  A staff 
study. Washington, D.C. January 17. Mishel, Lawrence and Frankel, David. 
1991 The State of Working America).
  
Still, many of the women covered by the FLSA are urban poor women 
working in jobs at or near the minimum wage.  Low wage occupations 
covered by FLSA include domestic, food service, janitorial and retail 
occupations.  In certain metropolitan areas, large numbers of urban poor 
women work in the nation's garment industry both in factories (sometimes 
characterized as sweat shops) and in the home.  Minimum wage, overtime, 
and home work violations continue to persist in the garment industry.

Since 1985, there have been new enforcement initiatives and legislation 
providing significant opportunities to improve the status of urban poor 
women, immigrant women, young women, and women with physical and mental 
disabilities in the U.S.  In 1992 and again in 1993, the Department of 
Labor conducted special enforcement initiatives to promote compliance 
with the FLSA and to reduce the exploitation of these low-wage workers.

In 1986, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published 
its final regulations interpreting the Equal Pay Act (EPA).  In 1981, 
the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Title VII's prohibition on sex-based 
wage discrimination is not restricted to claims for equal pay for "equal 
work" (County of Washington v. Gunther).  In 1985, the U.S. Equal 
Employment Opportunity Commission, in its first decision on comparable 
worth, held that sole reliance on a comparison of the intrinsic value of 
dissimilar jobs, which command different wages in the market does not 
prove a violation of Title VII.  In the decision, the EEOC stated that 
claims of sex-based wage discrimination may be proven by evidence of (1) 
the discriminatory application of a wage policy or system or the 
discriminatory use of wage-setting techniques such as job evaluations or 
market surveys, (2) barriers to equal access to jobs, or (3) the 
preponderance of direct or circumstantial evidence that wages are 
intentionally depressed because of the sex of the occupants of the job.  

Fringe benefits are part of the employer's payment for work performed 
and are thus covered by the EPA.  The 1986 EEOC regulations provide that 
fringe benefits including medical, hospital, accident, life insurance, 
and retirement benefits; profit sharing and bonus plans; and leave, may 
not be administered in a discriminatory manner between men and women 
performing substantially equal work.  EEOC warns that if an employer 
bases benefits available to employees and their spouses and families on 
whether the employee is the head of the household or principal wage 
earner in the family unit, the overall implementation of the plan will 
be closely scrutinized.  An employer may not defend differential benefit 
plans by arguing that it costs more to provide benefits to one sex than 
to the other.

Under the section covering inequalities in pay that raise questions 
under the act, EEOC has indicated that because the EPA was designed to 
eliminate wage rate differentials based on sex, situations will be 
carefully scrutinized in which employees of one sex are concentrated in 
the lower levels of the wage scale, and where there does not appear to 
be any material relationship other than sex between the lower wage rates 
paid to such employees and the higher rates paid to employees of the 
other sex. 

CURRENT CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES

The wage gap between male and female workers has narrowed little over 
the past three decades.  In 1963, women earned 59.6 cents to a man's 
dollar.  In 1992, women on average were paid 71 cents for each dollar 
paid to men.  According to the Institute for Women's Policy Research, 
only half of this reduction in the wage gap was the result of an 
increase in women's real wages; the other half reflected a decline in 
men's salaries.  The wage gap is even greater for women of color.  For 
example, in 1992, African American women earned 63.9 cents to a man's 
dollar; Hispanic women earned 55.3 cents.  (Blau, Francine, and Lawrence 
Kahn. 1992.  Working Paper No. 4224. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of 
Economic Research).

More than two dozen States have conducted studies to determine the role 
of gender in wage-setting practices in the public sector.  Over twenty 
States have adjusted pay to correct sex or race bias.  Some private 
sector employers have examined their wage-setting and job evaluation 
systems to remove any existing bias.   According to the Institute for 
Women's Policy Research 1994 report on twenty state governments' pay 
equity programs, Pay Equity Remedies in State Governments:  Assessing 
Their Economic Effects, nearly all the states found a pay gap between 
comparable female- and male- dominated jobs.  Further, the study found 
that if all female workers in the U.S. received the average pay equity 
adjustment observed in this study, each would earn an additional $1,400 
annually, and the national female/male wage ratio in 1990 would have 
improved from 71 to 76 percent.  

Advocates for equal pay urge a multifaceted strategy.  Access by women 
to equal educational opportunities continues to impact on women's pay.  
Vigorous and innovative enforcement of equal employment opportunity laws 
at the Federal level, along with the Civil Rights Act of 1991's 
provisions for compensatory and punitive damages and the right to a jury 
trial, will make discrimination more expensive to employers.  Revising 
job classification systems to eliminate bias related to gender, race and 
national origin will reduce the undervaluing of "women's" jobs.

Introduced in 1994, the Fair Pay Act is a Federal bill seeking to expand 
the protection of the Equal Pay Act to cover work of "equivalent" value.  
The major provision of this legislation, which applies to both public 
and private employers, would prohibit sex, race, and national origin 
wage discrimination among employees for work in "equivalent jobs."  
Equivalent jobs are those whose composite skills, effort, working 
conditions, and responsibility are equivalent in value, even if the jobs 
are dissimilar.  The Act would extend the Equal Pay  Act, which has been 
limited to sex-based discrimination in the same or substantially equal 
jobs.  Moreover, the Act requires that wage, salary and demographic data 
for each classification, position, or job title be submitted to the 
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and be publicly available.

In addition to requiring that workers be compensated on a consistent 
basis for their skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions, 
action must be taken to remove bias from job evaluation systems used to 
measure these attributes.  A standard of gender neutrality in job 
evaluation is necessary to make visible and compensate the attributes of 
work performed by women and people of color in order to further close 
the wage gap.
  
For enforcement purposes, the Fair Pay Act would allow class action 
lawsuits as a remedy for this form of discrimination.  It also would 
fill the information gap for workers by insuring employers disclose 
general job classification and pay statistics.  Additionally, employers 
would be required to provide the sex, race and national origin 
composition of the relevant categories of employees.

FEDERAL ACTION -- RESEARCH

The Department of Labor study, Women's Relative Pay: The Factors That 
Shape Current and Future Trends analyzed the factors contributing to the 
increase in women's relative earnings in the 1980's, and identified and 
analyzed the skill requirements of well-paid, high-growth occupations 
for women.

     A number of factors contributed to the rise in women's pay in the 
1980's, including: (1) a decline in labor market discrimination against 
women; (2) a rise in the relative quality of female labor; (3) a 
convergence in the industrial distribution of male and female workers; 
and (4) decline in male wages. 

     High-wage, high-growth job opportunities for women are concentrated 
in the managerial, professional, and technical fields.  The five areas 
of work expected to provide the most opportunities through the year 2000 
are: health, computers, engineering, teaching, and general management.  
The skills required for jobs in these fields are considerably higher 
than the skills required for the average job in today's economy.  Women 
aged 35 to 41 who currently hold these jobs have significantly more 
education and more wage-enhancing education than do other working women 
in this age group.  

     Women in high-wage, high-growth occupations have: (1) spent more 
years in the labor force; (2) are more likely to work full-time; and (3) 
are more likely to be single and without children than other women.

     Over 85% of the female work force between the ages of 35 and 41 
have worked intermittently since leaving school. These women earn 50% 
less than the small minority of women in this age group who have worked 
continuously.

     About 60% of the pay differential between intermittent and 
continuous women workers is due to difference in measured 
characteristics, such as the amount of education, work experience, and 
number of children.  Women who work continuously have 16 years of 
education and 16 years of work experience on average. Intermittent 
workers have only 13 years of education and 12 years of work experience 
on average.  Half the women who work continuously do not have children: 
only 12% of other women in the 35-41 age group are childless. 

     Women who work continuously earn significantly more than those who 
work intermittently even after controlling for the measured 
characteristics.  This suggests that differences in unmeasured 
characteristics explain part of the pay disparity.  Since most men work 
continuously and most women work intermittently, this also suggests that 
part of the sex pay disparity is due to differences in unmeasured 
characteristics as well.  

The study points out that because the decline in labor market 
discrimination against women is expected to continue, along with a rise 
in the relative quality of female labor and a convergence in the 
industrial distribution of male and female workers, the prospects for 
further improvements in women's relative pay are good.

Despite this and other similar, optimistic findings, no study yet has 
accounted for all of the earnings difference between women and men.  
Some researchers attribute this unexplained difference to 
discrimination.  

FEDERAL ACTION -- FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE LEGISLATION

As women's participation in the work force has increased, conflicts 
between employment and family responsibilities involving the illness or 
physical incapacity of family members have also become more prevalent.  
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 provides protection for 
employees who need time off to recover from childbirth or to care for a 
newborn, other children, or immediate family members.  Private sector 
employers of 50 or more employees and public agencies must provide up to 
12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave with maintenance of group health 
benefits for:  the birth or adoption of a child; acquiring a foster 
child; the serious illness of a child, spouse, or parent; and, the 
serious illness of the employee.  The Act however, does not require 
employers to pay employees during their leave.

Many State laws guarantee some form of leave for some of these purposes, 
most without pay or with combinations of paid and unpaid leave.  In an 
effort to help employees manage these obligations in an orderly, 
responsible way, some States require employers to provide leave for the 
time when an employee is incapacitated for employment because of 
pregnancy or childbirth; some provide leave for extended periods to care 
for a newborn or newly adopted child by either a mother or a father; and 
others include leave for the employee to care for an ill child, spouse, 
parent, or legal dependent as well as to care for one's own illness.   

NON-GOVERNMENTAL ACTIONS AND ACHIEVEMENTS - WORK AND FAMILY

The National Study of the Changing Workforce (Families and Work 
Institute, 1993) found that the major predictors of workers' ability to 
balance work and family life were the quality of the working environment 
including workload, autonomy on the job, and relationships at work.  It 
also found that how supervisors handle day-to-day work-family issues is 
as much a part of being family friendly as offering specific programs 
and policies.  The researchers concluded that the study findings "argue 
for expanding the issues that were typically considered in the work 
place improvement efforts to include the question of how these 
initiatives will affect family or personal life.  They also argue for 
broadening the definition of work-family efforts from dependent care to 
include the ways jobs are structured and designed."

In an article on the Status of Women in the United States by Joan 
Walters Drake, Facts on File, The United States, Volume 2, 1992 reports:

     "While 7.7 million working women with children under age 15 arrange 
some sort of day-care --in or outside their own home, with relatives or 
others, or in a formal day-care setting-- estimates vary widely of the 
number of American children left to fend for themselves during their 
mothers' working hours.  The "latchkey" children who were self-
supervised were estimated to number approximately 7 million in 1982 by 
the Children's Defense Fund.  This figure was challenged, however, by 
other sources tho claimed that many of this number were cared for by 
relatives, perhaps by a father or sibling, and therefore were not 
reported in day-care statistics.  The U.S. Bureau of the Census reported 
that one-half million children between the ages of 5 and 14 were self-
supervised and had no adult care during their mothers' work hours, based 
on data collected between December 1984 and March 1985.  However, 
testimony offered to the U.S. Senate Children's Caucus Policy Forum to 
Examine Problems Confronting "Latchkey Children" in June 1983 estimated 
a high of 15 million children providing some or all of their own care 
during the mother's work day.  Although there is a burgeoning movement 
in private industry to meet the current needs of the working mother, 
whose absenteeism and resignation rates are observably reduced when 
adequate child care is available, by 1985 only 2,500 or about 5% of the 
44,000 companies employing more than 100 workers offered some form of 
employee assistance.  These include on-site centers; some subsidizing of 
the costs of care regardless of the site; or perhaps maintenance of a 
referral system to local day-care providers.  It is clear that half of 
the nation's children are dependent for supervision and nurturing upon 
persons other than their mothers, for at least a portion of their day."    

FEDERAL ACTION -- RESEARCH:  CHILD CARE AND JOB TRAINING SUCCESS

A five year study (1982-87) sponsored by the Women's Bureau and the 
Rockefeller Foundation demonstrated that job training success for low-
income, single mothers was greatly dependent on the supply, 
affordability and quality of child care.

Employer-Supported Child Care -- In an effort to better understand the 
relationship between employer-supported child care and worker 
productivity, the Department of Labor's Employment and Training 
Administration commissioned a study Employer-Supported Child Care: 
Measuring and Understanding Its Impact on the Workplace to determine 
what is known about the productivity effects of employer-supported child 
care; what role cost-benefit considerations play in employer decision-
making about child care; and whether there are sound, practical 
evaluation designs that could be used by employers to assess the value 
of their child care programs.  Looking at seven organizations, they 
found two employers supported child care centers for their employees, 
two supported programs for mildly sick children, two offered partial 
reimbursement for child care expenses, and one was considering whether 
to offer some form of child care benefit.  The study also attempted to 
clarify the definitions of various evaluation measures related to the 
benefits of employer-supported child care.  Three major problems 
associated with establishing a link between child care benefits and 
productivity gains were identified: defining and measuring productivity; 
determining the relationship between the child care benefits and other 
detected outcomes; and determining whether the effects of a child care 
program were worth the cost to the employer.  

The report notes that much of the evidence of productivity gains from 
employer-supported child care was subjective and based on workers' or 
managers' survey responses.  It provides recommendations to employers 
interested in deciding on or refining child care benefits.  They include 
the need to:


o  Undertake a careful needs assessment and planning process;
o  Carefully identify the most relevant outcomes;
o  Recognize the effects of other benefits and policies;
o  Consider data needs in advance;
o  Select appropriate comparison groups; and
o  Consider the feasibility of and appropriate measures for determining 
cost-effectiveness.

The report concludes by noting that, given the extent to which family 
responsibilities have been found to conflict with work responsibilities, 
it is reasonable to think that well-designed programs aimed at assisting 
the family would have a positive effect on work performance.  And 
indeed, a number of employers who believe in the value of child care 
programs have begun to establish them.  If this number grows 
substantially, child care programs may come to be thought of (along with 
health insurance and vacation time) as part of the standard package of 
benefits offered by employers interested in attracting and retaining 
good employees. 

As part of the same project, a guidebook was prepared and published to 
help employers and managers reach decisions about whether child care 
programs are appropriate for their organizations and, if so, which types 
make the most sense.  Among other things, the guidebook outlines how to 
estimate the costs involved in various forms of child care benefit 
programs, and discusses how to estimate the savings related to 
reductions in employee turnover and absenteeism, including savings which 
may arise in the areas of recruitment and public relations.  It presents 
several major strategies for evaluating child care benefits and 
discusses the major advantages and limitations of each strategy.

A Comparison of Three Types of Child Care Arrangements -- This study 
reviewed three types of employer-supported child care arrangements in 
the State of Wisconsin: on-site child care centers, flexible spending 
accounts (FSA's) for child care, and employer resource and referral 
services.  The project involved 36 companies (manufacturers, employers 
of office/clerical workers, and health care institutions).  The firms, 
averaging 1,222 employees, provided information about their work force, 
child care benefits, and benefit users. 

According to the project's final report Wisconsin's Response to Families 
and Work, the percentages of employees that used each benefit option 
varied depending on the type of benefit offered.  Higher percentages of 
employees used the child care center and the FSA options than used the 
resource and referral option.  

Improved morale of program users was reported.  Companies with child 
care centers also reported the following benefits: positive influence on 
recruitment (79%), reduced absenteeism (64%), reduced tardiness (43%), 
reduced job turnover (79%), improved morale of all employees (57%), and 
ability of employees to accept promotion (50%).

Profiles of benefit users were developed from the project data.  Most 
child care center users were in the middle and high ranges for gross 
family income.  Before center enrollment, 58-61% of the parents had no 
previous child care arrangements outside of spouse or siblings, and 30-
35% of the parents had used baby-sitters or family day care.  More of 
the employees used the center for part-time than for full-time care. 

To assess the impact of child care on women in the labor force, the 
Women's Bureau funded a study, Child Care Costs as a Barrier to Women's 
Employment, which analyzed the impact of child care costs, quality, and 
availability on demand for commercial and noncommercial child care, and 
the effects of this demand on the labor market behavior of married 
women. 

Findings covered in the report show that:

--  The demand for commercial child care services increases with income 
and decreases as costs for services rise.
--  Married women's labor force participation increases with the quality 
of nonmaternal care and decreases as other family income increases. 
--  The demand for noncommercial services increases as the costs of 
commercial child care go up and decreases with higher incomes and better 
quality commercial child care up to a certain cost boundary.
--  Commercial child care costs have stronger negative effects on 
employment and commercial care use and, conversely, stronger positive 
effects on noncommercial care use than previous studies have shown. 
--  The availability of noncommercial care providers (other adult 
relatives, for example) has a strong impact on the use of such care and 
on womens labor supply. 
--  Expense-related subsidies (for example, the Child and Dependent Care 
Tax Credit) increase the demand for child care and the labor supply of 
married women.

WHERE WE ARE -- PENSIONS FOR WOMEN RETIREES

In the U.S., income for retired workers has three components -- 1) 
individual life-time savings and investments (if any), 2) Social 
Security, and 3) earned pensions.  The component commonly known as 
Social Security consists of a government-administered program designed 
to provide a basic level of lifetime income to American workers upon 
their retirement from the work place.  Workers earn a right to this 
retirement income through their participation in the work force during 
their working years.  The program is financed through a tax on wages 
that is paid by both employees and employers.

The income that the Social Security program pays to retirees, however, 
falls short of the amount that most would consider necessary to fully 
provide for the economic needs of retirees.  Even though the eligibility 
requirements for Social Security benefits are the same for men and 
women, the work histories and wage levels of men and women are so 
different that benefit levels vary dramatically by gender.  The average 
Social Security retirement benefit payable in July 1993, was $738 for 
men and $564 for women.  


[Box]

Social Security Equity

In 1992, a Congressional Study Group on Women and Retirement was 
established to call national attention to Social Security issues 
concerning women, including the payment inadequacies and inequities 
discussed above.  SSA is expanding its research and statistical programs 
to better evaluate the treatment of women under the program and respond 
to questions about their economic status.

[End box]


Many American workers, therefore, find it necessary to rely extensively 
on a second source for their retirement income.  For approximately 50% 
of workers, the second source is an employer-sponsored pension plan.  
Because of its critical social and economic role, the effectiveness of 
the employer-sponsored pension system has been an important issue to 
American workers in general.  Increasingly, it is a matter of special 
concern to women.  Later marriages, high divorce rates and high rates of 
labor force participation mean that more of today's women workers will 
rely on their own employment history for pension benefits than ever 
before.  It is therefore important to ensure that the pension system 
works for both men and women. 

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) sets minimum 
standards for pension plans in private industry.  The law is enforced by 
the Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA) of the U.S. 
Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Pension 
Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

The Retirement Equity Act of 1984, which amended ERISA and related 
provisions of the Internal Revenue Code, improved the opportunities for 
women to earn their own pensions and share in their husband's pension.  
Specifically, it:

--  required pension plans to permit otherwise eligible employees to      
participate in the plan beginning at age 21;

--  required pension plans to credit up to 501 hours of service (but 
only for purposes of preventing a break in service) for maternity and 
paternity   leave;

--  required many pension plans to provide a survivor benefit for the 
spouse of a worker who dies before he or she reaches retirement age; and

--  enabled state courts to direct that a divorced spouse receive 
retirement benefits directly from the ex-spouse's pension plan.  

The extent to which women benefit from the employer-sponsored pension 
system is determined not only by provisions of law, but by de facto 
practices.  Of central concern in determining how well the pension 
system meets the needs of working men and women is the question of how 
many workers are actually covered by pension plans, that is, how many 
workers are earning rights to a pension at their present jobs.  
Statistical data for the period 1972 to 1993 reveal a flat trend.  
Coverage varied between 48 and 50 per cent during all five survey 
periods.

This aggregated data, however, masks a significant gender-related trend.  
Pension coverage for women actually went up significantly during this 
period, from 38 to 48%. Coverage among men, in contrast, declined from 
54 to 51%.

Older women shared in women's general improvement, but gender 
differences in coverage remain highest among older workers.  Among 
workers age 55 to 59, 57% of women and 60% of men were covered in 1993.

Women's coverage is limited by their work force experiences.  Women tend 
to earn less than men, change jobs more frequently than men, and are 
concentrated in different occupations and industries from men.  The 
statistical data show that, for the work force as a whole, pension 
coverage rates tend to fall as earnings drop.  Women's lower earnings, 
therefore, may explain much of their lower pension coverage rates.  
Significantly, women and men with the same earnings have similar 
coverage rates.  However Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that 65% 
of women earned less than $20,000 in 1992, an earnings range in which 
the majority of workers do not have coverage.  By contrast, only 45% of 
men were in that earnings range.    

Although women constitute approximately 40% of the full-time American 
work force, their share of employment by industry differs widely.  If 
the economy is divided into eleven traditional industrial sectors, six 
of them (agriculture, heavy manufacturing, wholesale trade, 
transportation, construction, and mining) have a predominantly male work 
force, three (professional services, personal services, and finance, 
insurance and real estate) have a predominantly female work force, and 
two (light manufacturing and retail trade) are gender-balanced.  

Women fared best in predominantly male industries, where the pension 
coverage rate averaged 57%.  Interestingly, the second best coverage 
rate was for predominantly female industries, where 53% of women were 
covered.  By contrast, in gender-balanced industries only 37% of women 
were covered by pension plans.

Women's occupation is not the primary determinant of whether they are 
covered by a pension, as the disparity in pension coverage between men 
and women is much less when classified by occupation than by industry.  
Women have similar coverage rates in both predominantly male and 
predominantly female occupations.  It appears that three factors account 
for the change in pension coverage rates that have occurred for both men 
and women over the past two decades.  These are: 1) changes in 
demographic characteristics associated with pension coverage, such as 
age, job tenure and earnings level; 2) changes in the rate of pension 
coverage for industries in which one sex traditionally predominates; and 
3) shifts in employment by each sex from industries traditionally 
dominated by their sex to industries dominated by the other.

For women, all of these factors contributed to their increase in 
coverage rates.  Women in the work force are increasingly older, longer-
tenured and higher paid, all factors associated with higher pension 
coverage rates.  In addition, women are benefitting because pensions are 
being offered with increasing frequency in the industries and 
occupations in which women predominate, such as banking and insurance.  
Finally, women over the past two decades have increased their 
representation in industries and occupations that have been 
predominantly male.  Stated simply, it appears that American women for 
the present have been expanding their proportion of pension coverage 
faster than pension coverage as a whole is shrinking.  In the long run, 
however, the more significant trends for women as well as men may be the 
shrinkage in the availability of pensions to the population as a whole, 
as well as the shift away from defined benefit plans in favor of defined 
contribution plans.



DETERRING SEXUAL HARASSMENT

[Box]

In 1992, the Supreme Court decided its second sexual harassment case -- 
a former high school student filed suit for money damages against her 
high school under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  She 
alleged that she had been subjected to continual sexual harassment, 
including coercive intercourse, by a teacher and that the school 
district had refused to process her complaint adequately.  The Supreme 
Court held that a money damages remedy is available for an action 
brought to enforce Title IX, greatly expanding the remedies available 
for both students and employees in school systems that receive Federal 
financial assistance.  In 1993, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 
its third sexual harassment case, Harris v. Forklift Systems, that a 
woman need not prove that her psychological well-being was seriously 
affected by the harassment only, in order to prevail on a claim under 
Title VII. 

[End box]

ADVANCEMENTS SINCE 1985

Under Federal law, sexual harassment is a discriminatory, and therefore 
unlawful, employment practice.  In 1986 in the first sexual harassment 
case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court, Meritor Savings Bank v. 
Vinson, the Court ruled unanimously that sex discrimination that creates 
a hostile or abusive work environment affecting a term, condition or 
privilege of employment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 
1964, as amended.  Title VII's Section 703 prohibits the imposition of 
an onerous condition of employment upon any individual because of that 
person's sex.

The Meritor decision upheld the basic premises and definitions of what 
constitutes sexual harassment, as established in 1980 amendments to 
EEOC's sex discrimination guidelines.  EEOC guidelines define sexual 
harassment as "unwelcome sexual behavior" and identify two types:  "quid 
pro quo" harassment, when an employer or supervisor conditions a job or 
benefit on receipt of sexual favors; and "hostile environment" 
harassment, where severe and pervasive actions of an employer, co-
worker, client or customer create an intimidating, hostile or offensive 
work environment.  Since Meritor, judicial perceptions and understanding 
of sexual harassment, particularly the hostile work environment type, 
have developed rapidly.  Furthermore, several events involving sexual 
harassment or allegations of it received widescale media attention, and 
have raised public awareness significantly.  Workplace interactions 
between men and women involving power and sexuality have been subjected 
to an increasingly deeper level of scrutiny.  Women workers and their 
attorneys have made progress in altering the way society and legal 
decision makers think about these issues.*

==========
* Catherine MacKinnon's legal advocacy and her landmark books, Sexual 
Harassment of Working Women: A Case of Sex Discrimination (1979) and 
Toward a Feminist Theory of the State (1989), are cited as instrumental 
in formulating and litigating these concepts in "Note: Toward an 
Expanded Conception of Law Reform: Sexual Harassment Law and the 
Reconstruction of Facts," Fechner, Holly B., 23 U. Mich. J.L. Ref. 475 
(Spring, 1990)
==========

Still, studies continue to find that women and girls experience sexual 
harassment in the workplace, in educational institutions, in housing and 
in the streets.  According to the National Council for Research on 
Women, between 50-85% of women experience sexual harassment during their 
working lives.  A 1989 study by the National Law Journal found that 60% 
of the 3,000 women attorneys at the top 250 law firms had been sexually 
harassed.  A 1981 study by the U.S. Merit Systems Protections Board had 
found that 42% of female respondents had experienced sexual harassment.  
A 1988 follow-up study by the same federal agency found that sexual 
harassment was still prevalent among federal employees.

In her groundbreaking book, Sexual Harassment of Working Women, 
Catharine MacKinnon defined sexual harassment as the "unwanted 
imposition of sexual requirements in the context of a relationship of 
unequal power."  She argued that work provides an opportunity for women 
to become economically self-sufficient and that sexual harassment 
"undercuts woman's potential for social equality."

Judges, attorneys and legislators are currently in the process of using 
cases brought by individual plaintiffs to learn more about how sexual 
harassment discriminates against women and how to shape effective 
remedies.  Recently the courts have begun to widen their vantage point 
in assessing sexual harassment allegations to include considering the 
viewpoint of the "reasonable woman."  In Ellison v. Brady, the U.S. 
Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit stated: "We adopt the perspective 
of the reasonable woman primarily because we believe that a sex-blind 
reasonable person standard tends to be male-biased and tends to 
systematically ignore the experiences of women."  While there is still 
controversy about the reasonable woman standard such decisions suggest a 
trend toward incorporating the viewpoints and sensibilities of women 
workers, especially as shaped by their social inequality, into the legal 
analysis of sex discrimination.

EEOC guidelines further define sexual harassment as:

     Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other 
verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature constitute sexual 
harassment when (1) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly 
or implicitly a term or condition of an individual's employment, (2) 
submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as 
the basis for employment decisions affecting such an individual, or (3) 
such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with 
an individual's work performance or creating an intimidating, hostile or 
offensive working  environment.

There were 75 sexual harassment complaints to the Equal Employment 
Opportunity Commission in 1980; in 1992, there were 10,532.  Between 
1988 and 1992 sexual harassment claims filed with the EEOC more than 
doubled.

Quid pro quo sexual harassment has been defined as a situation in which 
a supervisor demands sexual behavior in exchange for employment 
benefits.  In order to obtain relief under this theory, a victim must 
show a loss of tangible benefit.  A tangible economic loss may include 
termination, transfer, delay or denial of job benefits, denial of 
training, desirable office space, or adverse performance evaluations. 

Courts have also recognized that the work atmosphere is included within 
Title VII's "terms, conditions or privileges of employment."  Thus, 
conduct that is sufficiently severe or persuasive to create a hostile 
work environment on the basis of sex violates Title VII.  And while quid 
pro quo harassment can only be committed by someone with authority to 
change an employee's job status, employers, supervisors, coworkers, 
customers or clients can create the form of sexual harassment known as a 
hostile work environment. 

A U.S. Court of Appeals found a hostile work environment in a case in 
which coworkers called the plaintiff "slut" and "bitch," grabbed her 
crotch, and displayed sexually offensive drawings, some of which 
included the plaintiff, and no disciplinary action was ever taken.  
Hostile work environments were also found in cases in which supervisors 
consistently made sexually explicit and demeaning remarks to the 
plaintiff.  In one case the company had a history of management's 
tolerating vulgar language directed toward women employees.  In another, 
the employer kissed, rubbed up against, trapped, touched, unzipped the 
uniform of and exposed himself to the plaintiff.

Plaintiffs may hesitate to pursue a sexual harassment claim if they 
anticipate the embarrassment of having their entire sexual histories 
revealed in a courtroom during a trial.  In one case, the district court 
ruled that allowing the employer to use the legal process to discover 
intimate details of the complainant's life would militate against 
prosecution of sexual harassment cases, is a serious invasion of privacy 
and therefore should not be permitted except in extraordinary 
circumstances.  In that case the employer had sought to discover the 
name of each person with whom the plaintiff had sexual relations in the 
past 10 years.  The Court noted that similar questioning once confronted 
rape victims who often found their own moral characters on trial during 
the prosecution of their assailants:

     By carefully examining our experience with rape prosecutions, 
however, the courts and bar can avoid repeating in this new field of 
civil sexual harassment suits the same mistakes that are now being 
corrected in the rape context...The use of evidence of a complainant's 
past sexual behavior is more often harassing and intimidating than 
genuinely probative [likely to shed light on facts], and the potential 
for prejudice outweighs whatever probative value such evidence may have.  
Certainly, then, in the context of civil suits for sexual harassment, 
and absent extraordinary circumstances, inquiry into such areas should 
not be permitted, either in discovery [pre-trial investigation by the 
opposing side] or at trial.

In 1990, the EEOC issued a lengthy Policy Guidance on Current Issues of 
Sexual Harassment to provide guidance on defining sexual harassment and 
establishing employer liability in light of the developing law after 
Meritor Savings Bank v. Vinson.  The EEOC indicates that the mere 
existence of a company policy against harassment will not protect an 
employer from a suit, but that an employee's failure to complain through 
an effective grievance procedure may divest an employer of liability.

The EEOC agreed that employers should always be held directly 
responsible for acts of quid pro quo harassment, but the agency 
interpreted case law as requiring a careful evaluation of hostile work 
environment claims to determine whether the employer knew or should have 
known about the harassing conduct or failed to have an effective 
grievance procedure and was therefore liable.  The EEOC further 
suggested that actual knowledge of sexual harassment by supervisors, 
whether acquired by direct observation, the filing of a discrimination 
complaint or other means, always implicates the employer, if immediate 
and corrective action is not forthcoming, even if an anti-harassment 
policy exists and a grievance procedure is available.  

A Federal court in Florida found that the plaintiff's testimony of 11 
years' work experience as a welder -- during which she was subjected to 
continuing visual and verbal sexual assaults through the pervasive 
presence of photographs of nude women, with exposed breasts and pubic 
areas in sexually submissive postures -- constituted a violation of 
Title VII, even though the employer did have a policy against sexual 
harassment for part of the time in question.  The court found expert 
testimony that "when sex comes into the workplace, women are profoundly 
affected...in their job performance and in their ability to do their 
jobs without being bothered by it" provided an evidentiary basis for 
concluding that "a sexualized working environment is abusive to a woman 
because of her sex."

The employer can be held legally responsible for co-worker sexual 
harassment if the employer knew or should have known, if he or she paid 
reasonable attention to the working conditions, of pervasive harassment 
and did not respond.  Several cases have been instituted by women who 
work in traditionally male occupations such as air traffic control, 
trucking, law enforcement, car sales and repair, corrections, 
construction, firefighting and plumbing, and thus are particularly 
vulnerable to harassment by a conspiracy of a group of male coworkers 
against the sole or few women employees.  

Sexual harassment by non-employees usually involves the conduct of 
clients or customers, which is sometimes overtly encouraged by 
employers' job requirements that female employees wear revealing 
clothing or act in a provocative manner to stimulate business.  In one 
case, cocktail waitresses were required to project sexual availability 
by wearing provocative outfits, flirting and dancing both alone and with 
customers in a sexually provocative manner.  Waitresses were 
subsequently subjected to unwelcome sexual advances and physical and 
verbal sexual abuse.  EEOC guidelines provide that, as in cases of 
harassment by coworkers, the employer may be liable if an employer or 
its agents or supervisors knew or should have known of the conduct, 
unless immediate and appropriate corrective action was taken.    

In 1991, the EEOC stepped up its enforcement of protection against 
sexual harassment by issuing a set of model legal pleadings to its 
attorneys throughout the U.S. and to women's groups, in an effort to 
speed prosecution.  The new EEOC directive emphasizes that charges of 
serious sexual harassment must be expedited after prompt investigation.  
The courts are considering an increasingly wide variety of legal bases 
for relief in employment sexual harassment cases.
     
In 1992, the U.S. Supreme Court decided its second sexual harassment 
case.  A former high school student filed suit for money damages against 
her high school under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.  She 
alleged that she had been subjected to continual sexual harassment, 
including coercive intercourse, by a teacher and that the school 
district had refused to process her complaint adequately.  The Supreme 
Court held that a money damages remedy is available for an action 
brought to enforce Title IX, greatly expanding the remedies available 
for both students and employees in school systems that receive Federal 
financial assistance.

In 1993, the Supreme Court further clarified the standards for 
establishing "hostile environment" harassment in the workplace.  In 
Harris v. Forklift Systems, Inc., the Court reaffirmed its Meritor 
ruling that hostile environment harassment is any "conduct that is 
sufficiently severe or pervasive to alter the conditions of the victim's 
employment and create an abusive working environment."  The Harris 
ruling voided requirements of some lower courts that the victim must 
prove that she suffered psychological damage.  The Court stressed that 
all circumstances should be considered in determining whether an 
environment is "hostile," and that no single factor is required.



ACCESS TO VOCATIONAL RESOURCES

FEDERAL PROGRAM
The Job Training Partnership Act (JTPA) funds the principal job and 
training activities administered by the Department of Labor Employment 
and Training Administration.  JTPA authorizes a broad spectrum of 
programs and services for economically disadvantaged adults and youth, 
dislocated workers, and others who face significant employment barriers.  
These programs and services are offered on a nationwide basis, through 
local communities, and annually serve approximately 2.2 million persons.  
In addition, JTPA authorizes research and evaluation, and special 
activities and demonstrations.  These additional efforts are often 
directed to issues of concern to women.

[Box]

         Percent Distribution of Female Enrollment
         In Key JTPA Nationwide Training Programs
                (July 1991-June 1992)

Program                       Total Enrollment        %Women

Program for Disadvantaged
  Adults and Youth              1,100,000               56

Dislocated Workers                331,000               45

Summer Jobs for                   782,000               50
   Youth (summer 1992)

Job Corps                         101,000               37

[End Box]


Job Corps is a nationwide residential education and training program for 
poor youth aged 16 through 24.  Enrollees are provided food, housing, 
education, vocational training, medical care, counseling, recreation 
facilities, and other support services.

Job Corps has undertaken a number of initiatives over the past few years 
intended to increase the recruitment and retention of young women into 
the program.  Advertising and promotional materials targeted to women 
have been developed for use throughout the country.  Posters and other 
promotional materials depicting young women in nontraditional jobs have 
also been developed and disseminated to Job Corps centers and screening 
agencies to encourage female enrollment in training in areas such as the 
construction trades. 

In order to foster an atmosphere where female students will feel 
comfortable when they are enrolled, funds have been provided to centers 
to enhance women's dormitories by making them less institutional and 
more home-like.  In addition, sexual harassment training is required for 
students and staff at Job Corps centers.  A parenting curriculum has 
been added to the Job Corps academic program, and a newly implemented 
social skills training program contains a series for handling conflict, 
dealing with anger, arriving on time for work or appointments, dealing 
with embarrassment, and similar skills. 

Enrollees in Job Corps centers also receive books, supplies, and a cash 
living allowance, part of which is paid upon program termination after 
satisfactory participation.  A number of the centers can accommodate 
nonresidential enrollees who participate in training and center 
activities during the day.  Enrollees may stay in Job Corps for up to 
two years, although the average length of stay is about eight months.  
They are given help in finding a job or enrolling in further education 
when they leave the program.

Some Job Corps centers now have on-site child care programs for students 
who have dependent children.  Most of the programs serve children of 
nonresidential students who live at home and attend Job Corps classes 
during the day.  Three of the programs, however, are residential, with 
parents and their children living in a special dormitory.  The children 
participate in an on-site child development program while their parents 
go to class. 

Teen Parent Program -- is aimed at increasing the long-term 
employability of young women who have been teenage mothers.  The 
demonstration, New Chance, was developed and tested by the Manpower 
Development Research Corporation in five sites through a joint Federal 
government and Ford Foundation funding effort.  The national 
demonstration project now operates in 16 sites in ten states and is 
funded by a consortium of public and private organizations, including 
ETA.  Components of the demonstration include education, employability 
development, parenting, and supportive services to teenage mothers and 
child care services for their children. 

The New Chance demonstration focuses on the integration of services, 
which include: educational development through instruction in basic 
academic skills and GED preparation; employability development through 
enhancement of career exploration and pre-employment skills; vocational 
skills training; work internships and summer work experience; job 
placement assistance; personal and social development; and services for 
participants' children. 

Apprenticeship -- has long been recognized as a particularly effective 
means of formal training for many skilled workers, although most in the 
skilled trades and crafts acquire their training through informal means.  
The Federal role in apprenticeship is largely supportive, providing an 
organizational framework to: formulate and promote the furtherance of 
labor standards; register programs and apprentices that meet standards; 
and deliver promotional services and technical assistance.  The private 
sector (business and labor) bears the cost of providing the actual 
training and is responsible for the design and administration of the 
training and the selection of apprentices.  

The National Apprenticeship Act of 1937 authorizes the Department of 
Labor to promote apprenticeship, which it does through the Bureau of 
Apprenticeship and Training (BAT).  The BAT works closely with 
employers, labor unions, vocational schools, community planning groups, 
State Apprenticeship Councils, and others concerned with apprenticeship.

Recognizing that women faced barriers to entering apprenticeship 
programs or lacked knowledge of the opportunities available for such 
training, the Women's Bureau launched the first cooperative effort with 
the BAT in 1968, to encourage women to compete for apprenticeship 
openings.  Since that time, the Women's Bureau and BAT have undertaken 
various special initiatives aimed at increasing the number of women in 
apprenticeship.

Emphasis during the mid-to-late 1970s led to the development of a 
package, "Women in Apprenticeship:  A Training Workshop."  In 1981-82, 
this training package was delivered nationwide through Women's Bureau 
funded trainers, resulting in increased awareness, community coalitions, 
tradeswomen's networks (e.g., Hard Hatted Women in Cleveland), and 
programs offering training in the skilled trades.

By 1992, there were 262,704 apprentices in over 41,000 apprenticeship 
programs registered with the DOL's Bureau of Apprenticeship Training or 
state apprenticeship agencies; 19,917 (7.6 percent) were women and 
58,317 (22.2 percent) were minorities.  Minority representation in the 
apprenticeship program approximates minority participation in the labor 
force.  For women, progress in increasing participation in 
apprenticeship programs slowed considerably in the 1980's.  Women's 
participation in registered apprenticeships increased from 0.7 percent 
in 1973 to 6.6 percent in 1983; by 1990 it was 7.1 percent.  The 
Department of Labor's goal for women's participation in apprenticeship 
in 1978 was a proportion equal to half of their participation in the 
work force or approximately 20 percent.  Women made up about 45 percent 
of the labor force in 1990; their participation in apprenticeship 
remains far short of that goal.

The DOL's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs is charged with 
investigating complaints, reviewing apprenticeship programs during 
compliance reviews, negotiating the voluntary resolution of violations 
and referring those cases to the Solicitor of the Department of Labor in 
which enforcement action may be necessary.  OFCCP's objective is to 
remove the barriers that prohibit women from entering apprenticeship 
programs and from successfully competing for higher paying journey-level 
positions.

Women in the Skilled Trades (WIST) Initiative of 1990-91 -- combines the 
programmatic missions of several agencies within the Department of Labor 
(the Employment and Training Administration's Bureau of Apprenticeship 
Training, the Women's Bureau, and the Office of Federal Contract 
Compliance Programs), to increase the access of women and minorities to 
nontraditional jobs.  There are over 800 occupations in the U.S. for 
which formal apprenticeship training is available.   The DOL has engaged 
in community outreach and recruitment, apprenticeship enrollment, and 
enforcement.   The DOL has coordinated efforts with sex equity groups, 
community organizations serving the special needs of women and 
minorities, employers, and unions.  Seminars and workshops have been 
held to encourage the education system to provide occupational training 
for women that meets the needs of industry.  This activity provides 
increased exposure throughout the workforce to these opportunities, a 
wider cross-section of selection of qualified persons, and greater 
diversity in employment placement.

For example, on major public works construction projects which will be 
of several years duration, a concerted multi-program effort is made at 
the beginning of a project to publicize employment opportunities among 
women and minorities, attract trainees, and obtain employment 
commitments through which those hired can both learn new skills and gain 
experience and competence in nontraditional fields.

As part of WIST's education and outreach activities, the Women's bureau 
developed and published an annotated Directory of Nontraditional 
Training and Employment Programs Serving Women (1991).  The model 
programs reflect pre-apprenticeship programs for women. 

Specialized apprenticeship activities for women in which DOL's 
Employment and Training Administration has been involved include:

--  Preparation Recruitment Employment Program, Inc. provides services 
designed to increase access for women and minorities to apprenticeable 
occupations, in which they have been traditionally under-represented.  
Primary emphasis is upon entry into skilled craft apprenticeships in the 
construction industry, and placement of women in nontraditional 
occupations.  The program operates at three sites.
  
--  STEP-UP, a pilot program, is a new kind of apprenticeship program 
for residents of public housing and Native American housing authorities 
and for other low-income persons.  It provides participants, who are 
overwhelmingly female, with jobs, job training, and career 
opportunities, primarily in maintenance and construction at housing 
authorities.  Participants are paid while in the program.  STEP-UP is a 
temporary program (one year maximum), the first step in a longer-term 
training and employment process, and now operates in about six cities. 

Other Training Efforts -- The DOL's Employment and Training 
Administration has been involved in other relevant training projects.  
Under the Defense Conversion Adjustment program, the agency provided 
funds to the State of Arizona to provide training and readjustment 
assistance to female veterans and women dislocated from defense 
contractors.  The project offers participants job clubs, out-placement 
assistance, counseling, and related activities.  A leadership training 
seminar also prepares participants with management experience for 
leadership positions in the private sector.  

The 1980's witnessed little progress toward increasing the employment 
and retention of women in highway construction.  In 1991 the Federal 
Highway Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 
conjunction with the U.S. Department of Labor's Women's Bureau and 
Employment and Training Administration, developed a training and 
reference manual which State Highway Agencies could use to assist 
highway construction contractors in meeting their responsibilities for 
the employment of women.  The resulting manual represents a multi-agency 
response to the problems of recruiting, hiring, training, and retaining 
women in the highway construction crafts.  This manual is a resource 
document which contains a compendium of strategies that have proven 
successful for others.  It culminated the joint efforts of the above-
noted Federal agencies.  Included in the project were factfinding 
activities, research, and pilot training sessions for State highway 
officials, contractors and compliance officers.

The other effort is the Job Training for the Homeless Demonstration 
Program, announced in 1990.  The Program provides homeless persons 
training and other services, including housing, designed to increase 
employment opportunities, improve job retention and attain permanent 
housing for homeless persons.  Projects serve diverse subgroups of the 
homeless population including single women and families with children.  
The demonstration, operated at about 20 sites, is designed to provide 
direction for future national job training for homeless persons.



ENVIRONMENT

WHERE WE ARE  

Environmental policies and proposed technical solutions typically do not 
take into account the differences in the ways women and men interact 
with the environment.  Women's susceptibility to environmental toxins 
differs from that of men; as a result, women may suffer 
disproportionately from environmental pollution.  

Traditionally, scientists (including those at the Environmental 
Protection Agency -- EPA) have not evaluated the female population 
separately regarding environmental risks in their epidemiological or 
laboratory studies.  Efforts to protect a woman from various 
environmental hazards are generally subsumed under the rubric of a 70 
kg., 154 lb. man.  

As a result of President Clinton's February 1994 Environmental Justice 
Executive Order, EPA has begun to assess how environmental problems 
converge on communities of color in which the head of household is 
typically a female.  A low-income community surrounded by multiple 
sources of air pollution, waste treatment facilities, and landfills, and 
with lead-based paint in the residences, is clearly a community that 
faces higher than average environmental risks.  More than half of poor 
African American children in the U.S., before they enter the first 
grade, have levels of lead in their blood that the government defines as 
neurotoxic.  Children with elevated lead levels show increased 
distractibility, disorganization, and hyperactivity.  

[Box]

GLOBAL IMPACT

U.S. programs devoted to energy and environment benefit women worldwide.  
The Department of Energy has begun to reapply traditional weapons 
technologies and newly developed technologies to the development of 
programs that enhance and improve the overall quality of life.  
Reapplication of technology to such fields as biomedical research and 
quality of life research can serve the global interests of women.

[End box]


RESEARCH AND RISK ASSESSMENT

Women of child-bearing age are generally targeted for protection as a 
sensitive population due to concerns of adverse developmental effects of 
chemicals on fetuses, but not because the women themselves are at a 
greater risk.   

Areas of study which cover women's susceptibility to environmental 
toxicants include metabolism, pharmacokinetics, the menstrual cycle, 
reproductive physiology, endocrinology, pregnancy, lactation, and the 
menopause.  Areas of study which cover the exposure of women to 
environmental pollution include their occupation, physiological 
parameters, physical activities and food intake.   

Many chemicals exert adverse health effects that may affect women or 
fetuses disproportionately compared to the general population.  Many 
chemical substances produce adverse reproductive effects as demonstrated 
in animal toxicity testing -- indications of adverse reproductive 
effects in humans, a health effect that would fall disproportionately on 
women.  Steps were initiated in the mid-80s to improve how the Agency 
evaluates data on reproductive and developmental toxicity.  New 
Guidelines for Reproductive Toxicity Risk Assessment are scheduled for 
EPA approval in the fall of 1994.  

Guidelines for assessing risks from developmental toxicity were 
published in 1991.  The Guidelines for assessing risks to the 
reproductive system include special consideration of the female 
reproductive system as a target for reproductive toxicity.  It was 
recognized that existing protocols to detect reproductive toxicity were 
quite limited; especially with regard to age at attainment of puberty, 
the menstrual cycle and the onset of reproductive senescence.  Agents 
are studied mainly for the interference with the ability to conceive and 
maintain a pregnancy through delivery.   

FEDERAL ACTION -- LEGISLATION ON PESTICIDES AND FOOD SAFETY 

Federal legislation is not targeted toward women; however, several rules 
significantly impact women and children.  EPA registers pesticide 
products if scientific data adequately show that when used according to 
label directions,  they will not pose unreasonable risks to human health 
or the environment.  In addition, for any pesticide use on food or 
animal feed crops, EPA is responsible under the Federal Food, Drug and 
Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) for setting tolerances (maximum residues in food or 
feed).  Use of pesticides may disproportionately impact the health and 
safety of women in a number of ways.  EPA is currently focusing its 
research attention on 1) the hormonal characteristics of pesticides and 
the potential link with breast cancer; 2) follow-up to National Academy 
of Science's report Pesticides in the Diets of Infants and Children and 
3) worker protection standards.

Recent epidemiologic studies indicate a possible link between breast 
cancer and organochlorine pesticides such as DDT, which exhibit 
estrogenic properties.  It is clear that further research is necessary 
in order to acquire a better understanding of estrogenic pesticides and 
cancer induction.  EPA is one of several agencies active in a multi-year 
prospective epidemiological study of pesticide exposure and cancer, 
including breast cancer.  EPA has also begun a project that will examine 
the implications of mammary tumors induced by chemicals in rodents as an 
indicator of human cancer risk.   

Toxic Substances Control Act -- authorizes EPA to acquire information on 
chemical substances in order to identify and regulate potential hazards 
for the protection of human health and the environment.  An example of 
activities specifically undertaken to address potential injury to women 
by toxic chemical exposure is the promulgation of the Siloxanes Section 
Bid rule.  This rule was promulgated following allegations of health 
effects associated with silicone medical implants.  The rule requires 
manufacturers, processors, and distributors of Siloxanes to submit 
health and safety studies for Federal use in the regulations of silicone 
products.  

FEDERAL ACTION -- AIR PROGRAMS
  
Air Pollution -- Carbon monoxide (CO) is an example of a criterion air 
pollutant that can cause developmental health effects in fetuses and 
children.  Women are especially affected by the adverse effects of this 
pollutant.  The primary source of carbon monoxide in the ambient air is 
from mobile sources.  To that end, the new Clean Air Act Amendments of 
1990 are making significant progress in helping U.S. cities reduce 
ambient carbon monoxide to levels below the national ambient air quality 
standard.  In 1980, mobile sources contributed 70% to ambient CO levels.  
By 1992, that number had been reduced to 48%.  
Indoor Air Quality -- Indoor air, radon, and pesticide exposures are 
among the highest potential environmental human health risks.  The home 
environment can be a significant source of these pollutants, so females 
who work in the home for a significant portion of the day may be 
disproportionately exposed.  Exposures to lead dust, carbon monoxide, 
biological contaminants, household cleaners, and other pollutants may 
impact the homemaker.  Studies indicate that indoor levels of pollutants 
may be 2-5 times (and occasionally up to 100 times) higher that outdoor 
levels.  The federal strategy to address the health effects of exposure 
to indoor air pollutants in the home, in schools, and in the workplace 
and to reduce exposures includes:

--  Upgrading building design and operation;
--  Identifying risks like radon, asbestos, tobacco smoke, and lead;
--  Increasing public awareness of indoor air pollutants by publishing a 
wide range of information materials;
--  Training key indoor air audiences and clienteles; and
--  Working with other agencies to coordinate the federal government's 
indoor air efforts.

A specific health problem that appears to disproportionately effect 
women is asthma.  In the U.S., asthma mortality and morbidity 
disproportionately affect children, women, people of color, and people 
in urban areas.  Poverty is a common factor among those with asthma, 
with the indoor air environment cited as a contributing factor.  
Possible contributing elements to poor indoor air include inadequate 
humidity, appliances with poor combustion systems, use of kerosene, 
woodstoves, and gas heaters, and exposure to allergens or irritants such 
as tobacco smoke.  

Other Hazardous Pollutants -- Lead is a persistent bioaccumulative 
pollutant that accumulates in the bones of humans.  During pregnancy, 
lead leaches from the bones of women along with calcium and is rapidly 
diffused to the placenta.  Lead is also released during lactation and at 
menopause.  EPA's efforts to remove lead from gasoline have had a 
tremendous impact on the level of lead in the ambient air.  For example, 
as a result of the advent of unleaded gasoline the U.S., the motor 
vehicle's contribution to total ambient levels of lead was reduced from 
80% in 1982 to 28% in 1990.  Because motor vehicles are the primary 
contributor to ambient lead levels, the overall reduction of lead in the 
air was similarly noteworthy -- from 1983 to 1992 an 89% decrease.  

Ethylene oxide (EO) is an example of an air pollutant that may cause 
reproductive effects in both males and females.  Data indicate that EO 
causes decreased fertility in females and genotoxic effects in males.  
EPA's proposed regulations of EO emissions from ethylene oxide 
commercial sterilizers could reduce emissions from 1,100 tons per year 
to 150 tons per year.

Safe Drinking Water -- EPA sets standards for drinking water quality and 
requirements for treatment to protect sensitive members of the 
population over a lifetime of exposure.  Standards based on non-cancer 
health effects incorporate a margin of safety to account specifically 
for sensitive populations such as women, infants, or the elderly.  For 
carcinogens, the health goals is set at zero and the standard is set as 
close to zero as feasible. 

The Clean Water Act of 1972 and its amendments are the driving force 
behind many of the water quality improvements we have witnessed in 
recent years.  Key provisions provide such pollution control programs as 
establishment of water quality standards and criteria, effluent 
guidelines and development of total maximum daily loads.  In addition, 
the EPA has recently released guidance to help state and local public 
health agencies develop fish consumption limits designed to specifically 
protect women, especially those of child-bearing age, and children, as 
well as the general population against exposure to chemical contaminants 
in noncommercial freshwater and estuarine fish and shellfish.  

Atomic Energy Act -- Fetuses exposed to radiation have greater risk for 
physical malformations, cancer, hereditary effects, and mental 
retardation.  To address this issue, EPA produced Radiation Protection 
Guidance to Federal Agencies for Occupational Exposure and recommended 
that occupational exposure of a woman who has declared her pregnancy be 
maintained as low as is reasonably achievable and in any case should not 
exceed a fraction of the annual dose to other adult workers during the 
entire gestation period.  Protection of the unborn may be achieved 
through measures such as temporary job rotation, worker self-selection 
by task, or use of protective equipment.  Such measures must also 
conform with the provisions of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 
prohibiting discrimination in employment practices.

The Agency is implementing a Combustion Strategy that will have a direct 
impact on the health of women.  Combustion is currently a large 
component of hazardous waste management in the United States.  Hazardous 
wastes being burned today include spent solvents, sludges, and organic 
chemicals and products.  About 5 million tons of these organic wastes 
are being burned each year by 355 hazardous waste incinerators, boilers 
and industrial furnaces, and cement kilns each year.  As these organic 
compounds are burned, hazardous pollutants such as dioxin, particulate 
matter, and heavy metal gases are emitted into the air.

These pollutants, particularly dioxin, are particularly hazardous to 
fetuses.  To address this issue, the Agency will be proposing a 
rulemaking that will develop tighter technical standards for the 
emission levels of incinerators, cement kilns, boilers, and furnaces for 
hazardous pollutants.

There are situations where women are exposed disproportionately to 
certain air pollutants.  Though it is generally the jurisdiction of OSHA 
to protect workplace populations, some of EPA's programs address 
environments whose exposed populations include a significant percentage 
of women.  As mentioned previously, our technical ability to determine 
the exposure of particular segments of the population, such as women, is 
not developed.  New modelling and exposure work is underway to improve 
this capacity however.  For example, the Hazardous Air Pollutant 
Exposure Model (HAPEM), developed in the early 1990's, uses data on 
approximately 10 microenvironments and on activity patterns of specific 
cohorts to model exposure levels for groups.  HAPEM has the capability 
to model exposure levels for groups such as women of child-bearing age.  
This information could be used for EPA efforts such as the air toxic 
residual risk analysis required by the new Clean Air Act.  HAPEM would 
be useful for the assessment of scenarios where women may be 
differentially exposed to a given air toxin or pollutant.

CURRENT CHALLENGES AND STRATEGIES

Although traditionally EPA's efforts have been targeted by environmental 
problems, legislation and policies should focus our resources on subsets 
of the population that are at greater risk.  Women, specifically women 
of color and indigenous communities, have been identified as a 
population of concern.  There is a need for studies on this subset of 
the population in order to target our efforts appropriately.

To address this current data gap, the Agency should begin to evaluate 
women separately so that baseline information from research or 
investigations may be evaluated.  Areas in which women could be drawn 
out as a distinct population could include risk assessment analyses and 
socio-economic/environment justice evaluations.  In order to target 
women specifically for technological transfer projects, EPA should 
identify the areas where they are concentrated in the workforce.

Studies show that there are more single parent/poor women than men in 
the United States.  Therefore, these women would be more likely to be 
found in the poorest communities in the cities which are most 
susceptible to urban environmental hazards (such as lead paint, 
asbestos, indoor air, carbon monoxide and ozone pollution, etc.).

An example of a specific health effect that appears to 
disproportionately effect women is asthma.  In the U.S., asthma 
mortality and morbidity disproportionately affect children, women, 
people of color and people in urban areas.  Poverty is a common factor 
among those with asthma, with the indoor air environment cited as a 
contributing factor.  Possible contributing elements to poor indoor air 
include inadequate humidity; appliances with poor combustion systems; 
use of kerosene, woodstoves and gas heaters; and exposure to allergens 
or irritants such as tobacco smoke.  EPA's indoor air improvement 
programs, if targeted at such populations, could significantly reduce 
the incidence of asthma.

Young women are the fastest growing population of smokers in the United 
States.  EPA should increase its outreach efforts to heighten awareness 
in this age group of smokers, since environmental tobacco smoke affects 
the health of their offspring.
___________________________________________________________________
         NON-GOVERNMENTAL SOURCES for DEVELOPMENT SECTION
Economic Policy Institute

"More Women Take Low-Wage Jobs Just So Their Families Can Get By," Peter 
T.Kilborn, New York Times, March 13, 1994

Judith Lichtman, Women's Legal Defense Fund Testimony before the 
Commission on the Future of Labor - Management Relations, April 1994

Presentation by Dr. Kathleen Christensen, City University of New York, 
Lisa Prugl, Florida International University and Eileen Boris, Howard 
University, Washington, D.C.

American Association of Retired Persons

Older Women's League

Ms. Foundation for Women

American Association of University Women

Wages for Housework Campaign

"Putting Home Economics into Macroeconomics," Jeremy Greenwood, Richard 
Rogerson and Randall Wright, Quarterly Review of the Federal Reserve 
Bank of Minneapolis, Summer 1993

Feminist Majority Foundation



{###)

[End of Section 4 or 5]
To the top of this page