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Global Progress on Equal Pay and Paid Leave

Countries around the world have adopted policies to promote women’s economic security and participation and close the gender wage gap. The United States is an extreme outlier in its lack of such policies.

See also: International Approaches to the Gender Wage Gap by Kaitlin Holmes and Danielle Corley

The gender wage gap is not unique to the United States. For example, each Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, or OECD, country sees a gap—ranging from 36.6 percent in South Korea to 5.6 percent in New Zealand.

While achieving progress on national work-life and anti-discrimination policies has been all but politically impossible in the United States in the last few decades, industrialized and developing countries alike are comprehensively addressing both facets of the gender wage gap.

This means that the United States is now falling behind not just on economic policies that support working families—such as any type of paid leave—but also on solutions that directly target wage discrimination. This interactive illustrates how the United States is an extreme outlier in its lack of such federal policies.

Kaitlin Holmes is a Research Assistant for the Women’s Initiative at American Progress. Danielle Corley is a Research Associate for Women’s Economic Policy at American Progress.

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Kaitlin Holmes

Research Assistant

Danielle Corley

Research Associate, Women\'s Economic Policy