Pay below the national average persists among the majority of Latino women, who earn, on average, 40 percent less than white non-Hispanic men, according to the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement.

The LCLAA, which represents 2 million Latino union members, presented a report stating that Hispanic males also earn less than their Anglo and African-American peers.

Specifically, women of Hispanic origin in 2010 earned an average of $508 per week, compared with $592 for black women and $684 for white-non-Hispanic females.

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"Sixty-five percent of the Latino women in this country only have a middle school education or less, and the level of education defines in large part the opportunities that a woman can take advantage of in the labor market," Andrea Delgado, one of the authors of the report, told Efe.
Delgado said that the majority of Hispanic women work in businesses linked to retail sales, food preparation, cleaning houses and buildings, health assistance and childcare, among others.

"They are jobs in which a Latina doesn't earn enough to support a family and get ahead," Delgado said.

The LCLAA study sees the Latino woman as being more vulnerable to suffering attacks on her rights at work, at the same time that she is less able to complain about them.

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"If a Latina doesn't speak the language or is a person who recently came to the country, if in general she doesn't know about her labor rights, she will not know how to identify if she is suffering sexual harassment at work or salary theft," Delgado said.

A better level of education is seen as the solution to getting better pay.

Another of the matters that concerns the researchers is health: the percentage of Latino women without medical insurance, 29.1 percent, is more than twice that among white non-Hispanic women.

Among the policy priorities, the report recommends increasing the budgets for agencies that make labor inspections, guaranteeing pay for sick days, promoting immigration reform and improving access to medical care.

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LCLAA executive director Hector Sanchez emphasized to Efe the inequalities that persist among the Hispanic female population and urged "getting rid of extremism in the country, which is affecting whole communities and particularly Latino women." 

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