This International Women’s Day will also see women protesting to seek socio-economic justice. Organizers of the Women’s March in Washington D.C. (and around the world) have called for ‘A Day Without A Woman’ and are urging women to take the day off from work, refrain from shopping and to wear red in solidarity.

We decided to take a look at the impact of a day in which all women stopped participating in economy. Women account for $7.6 trillion of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the U.S. according to Center for American Progress (CAP) and if all paid women workers in the country took just one day off, the economy would take a hit of close to $21 billion.

However, the CAP points out that this figure may not be an ideal metric for guaging the impact, since it doesn't take into account for the unpaid work women do. However it also doesn't account for the fact that women also dominate some lower-paid professions such as teachers and social workers. But here's a look at the role women play in the economy as a whole:

Employees

According to the 2015 American Community Survey, 47.4% or 76.1 million of the year’s labor force comprised of women 16 years or older. Census data shows over 69 million women were employed that year, making 46.8% of the total employed workers in the country.

Education and health services employ most number of women as a category, with 36% of all employed women working in that industry. Retail comes next, employing 13% of women workers followed by professional and business services.

Earnings

The Income and Poverty data collected by the Census Bureau shows that in 2015, women with full time employment had median earnings of $40,742. For every dollar that a man earned on average, a woman made 81 cents. Women who worked more than 35 hours in a week all year round got median weekly pay of $726. Those working part-time made up a quarter of all salaried female workers, with median weekly earnings of $251.

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that women spend more time on average engaged in activities like house work and care giving. Considering one really doesn’t get paid for taking care of one’s own house or a young child, this is unpaid work. A paper by the Bureau of Economic analysis suggests that if unpaid work was accounted for in the GDP, the level of nominal GDP would have increased 26% in 2010.

On the flip side, mothers are increasingly the primary breadwinners. Last year, an analysis by the CAP pointed out that in 2015, 42% of mothers in the country were the sole or the primary breadwinners for their families. In addition, 22.4% were co-breadwinners, bringing back anywhere between a quarter to a half of the families income.

Expenditure

Women outnumber men in the population, according to the latest census numbers. But women’s role as consumers stretches beyond their number into their decision-making role for the expenses for the households.  

In 2012 a Fleishman-Hillard Inc research estimated that women would have control over 75% of the consumer wealth in the following decade. The very next year a 2013 Nielsen report suggested that women have purchasing power between $5 trillion and $15 trillion annually.

Entrepreneurs

A Womenable study estimates that there were over 11.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States as of last year. That would be a 45% jump from the 7.7 million figure for women owned businesses in 2007. The research goes on to suggest that 1,072 net new women-owned businesses were started each day since 2007.

The study further predicts that companies owned by women generated $1.6 trillion in revenues, with an average of $143,431 per firm, and employed nearly 9 million people.

 

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