Women Fight For Equal Pay, But The Gender Pay Gap Won't Budge

Elana Goodman joins with other protesters to ask that woman be given the chance to have equal pay as their male co-workers. For the second year in a row, women make 83 cents to the man's dollar. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Women made strides in 2016, but they still earned just 83 cents on the man's dollar for the second year in a row, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center.

2016 was a year of firsts: the first woman running for U.S. president backed by a major party, the U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team winning gold at the Rio Olympics, and five women getting elected to Congress. But women's pay remained stagnant.

As women have increased their working power, influence and presence in the labor force, their wages have grown and the wage gap between the sexes has narrowed. After all, women earned 64 cents for every dollar earned by men in 1980.

But the gender wage gap persists, and, according to Pew Research Center, the reasons for that are complex. Women's earnings tend to decline about a decade into their working lives as they face the challenge of work-life balance—an issue that is, somehow, largely unique to women. They face gender discrimination at the workplace, there is limited access to male-dominated professional networks, and the persistence of gender stereotypes tend to decrease their clout at work, according to Pew.

A 2013 study by Pew found that four in ten mothers took a significant amount of time off or reduced their work hours to care for a child or other family member. And 27 percent said they quit work altogether for their familial responsibilities. That's almost double the number of men who said the same.

The gains women have made were driven by them showing up and staying in the workplace. But for the second year in a row, men continue to make 17 cents more than women for the same work.

This means that it would take "an extra 44 days of work for women to earn what men" earn, according to Pew.

But not everyone sees this as a problem. Just six in ten women say the country "hasn't gone far enough when it comes to gender equality." And those views are wildly partisan: Democrats are more likely to say that the country does not give women equal rights, whereas Republicans think otherwise. Also, women are more likely to point out the same, as opposed to men.

If we continue at this rate, it could take over 100 years to reach gender pay parity.