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"A majority of lower-wage jobs are held by women," President Barack Obama pointed out earlier in the month. That means that raising the minimum wage isn't just an important way to fight poverty, or even specifically poverty among women—though it is, as a new White House report details. It's also a way to close the gender gap by about five percent, according to the Council of Economic Advisers.

The bottom of the income scale is disproportionately women; 55 percent of those who would get a raise from the minimum wage being increased to $10.10 are women, and:

  • Women account for 72 percent of all workers in predominantly tipped occupations – such as restaurant servers, bartenders, and hairstylists.
  • Average hourly wages for workers in predominantly tipped occupations are nearly 40 percent lower than overall average hourly wages.
The tipped minimum wage of $2.13 hasn't been raised in more than 20 years, by the way.

We're talking here not about the teenagers Paul Ryan wants us to believe are the ones who'd get a raise, and again, women are disproportionately affected:

  • About one-quarter (26 percent) of all workers who would benefit from increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 have dependent children, and 31 percent of female workers who would benefit have children.
  • 2.8 million working single parents would benefit from the President’s proposed increase in the full minimum wage, more than 80 percent of whom are women.
When Republicans try to push back on charges that they're engaging in a war on women, they often claim that Democrats are only talking about abortion and that it's Republicans who are addressing women's economic needs. But all you have to do is look at these minimum wage numbers to realize how false that is. The Republican war on women is as much about wages and working conditions as it is about forced ultrasounds and closed clinics.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Wed Mar 26, 2014 at 09:23 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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