Image: Flickr Creative Commons/Kheel Center

A report released earlier this week by the World Economic Forum found that the United States now ranks 49th out of 144 countries in terms of gender equality, which is defined by the organization across broad metrics of health, education, workforce participation, and political participation. In 2006, it ranked 23rd.

Oh, and it will take 217 years to close the gender economic gap:

Some of the most challenging gender gaps remain in the economic sphere. At the current rate of change, and given the continued widening of the economic gender gap already observed last year, it will now not be closed for another 217 years. This year, the economic gender gap has reverted back to where it stood in 2008, after a peak in 2013.

Last year, the same report predicted it would take 170 years. I would have been long dead in the first scenario, but now it seems I will have been dead for longer.

Interestingly and apropos of nothing, women in union positions are paid an average of 94 cents for every dollar paid to a union man. For non-union women, the disparity is closer to 78 cents on the dollar, according to a 2017 analysis from the Economic Policy Institute.

And, from the same analysis:

The gender wage gap is significantly smaller among both white and black unionized workers than their nonunion counterparts. Unionized workers are also more likely to have access to various kinds of paid leave, from paid sick days, vacations, and holidays to paid family and medical leave, enabling them to balance work and family obligations.

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Forming a union could take a long time in some industries and workplaces, but maybe less than 217 years.

Headline was updated to change “wage gap” to “economic gap,” since the focus of the report is broader than wages.