Four years since the Great Recession officially ended, women, hit hardest by the sharpest economic crisis in generations, still lag behind in the recovery, according to a report by the California Budget Project.
Women are on even shakier ground, the report continued, because of state budget cuts that further undermine the economic security of women and their families.
They have suffered as programs like CalWORKS and Supplemental Security Income and public education sector jobs have been gutted even as the cost of living continues to rise, according to the report, released this week during International Women's Month.
And even as women make strides in the government, military and business, men are now returning to work at a higher rate than woman and continue to earn $1 for every 80 cents paid to women in California. The pay gap is wider in other states and for women of color.
"I wish I could say this is new information," said Ethel Long-Scott, executive director of the Oakland-based Women's Economic Agenda Project, founded 30 years ago.
The report puts the failure to address structural issues that make it harder for women to get out of poverty "in our face," she said. "Our job is, what are we going to do differently?"
The report, funded by the Women's Foundation of California, painted a grim picture for women in the Golden State:
That has ripple effects long into a woman's life.
Deep cuts to the SSI programs, which remain 10 percent below poverty, have disproportionately affected women, who are more likely to be poorer than men in old age because they earn less in their lifetime and spend more time outside the paid workforce. As a result, they have lower lifetime earnings, less retirement income and higher rates of poverty in old age.