This is a most interesting article from the New York Times:
Last year, female small-business owners were awarded only 3.4 percent of annual federal contracts — even though the latest statistics show women own almost half, or 10.1 million, of small businesses nationwide, and generate about $2 trillion in revenue
In 2000, Congress directed that female small-business owners receive 5 percent of federal contracts each year, now estimated to total $435 billion. But putting that mandate into effect has been a continual battle between lawmakers and the Bush administration.
This week, the Small Business Administration posted the final version of the rule meant to deal with Congress’s order. The rule said the 5 percent set-aside covers contracts in 31 industries, an increase from the agency’s original proposal to include only four industries, which Senator Olympia J. Snowe of Maine, the ranking Republican on the Senate Small Business Committee, called a “sham proposal.” Still, the new number represented less than a third of the 140 industries eligible for government contracts.
So, women owned businesses are supposed to get 5% of the government contracts, which the Bush administration tries to block through interim rules and implementation deails...
yet women own 50% of small businesses.
Now of course we need the breakdown of women owned, minority owned businesses per sector, obviously a bakery is not equal to an engineering firm in terms of being granted government contracts...but 3.4%?
So, once again it appears equality is in sound bytes only, especially when it comes to sex equality.