They seem to be questions worth asking on news that, according to the American Association of University Women, Arkansas is among the 10 states with the smallest gap between pay for men and women.
Arkansas jumped up tremendously since the last survey, from 41st to 10th. No state has gender parity — Washington D.C. comes closest with women's pay at 90 percent of men's. The national average is 77 percent. States differ, the AAUW says, because of business climate, types of industry and demographics. White women do better at closing the gap than black and Hispanic women.
You can get the full report, based on Census data, here. The AAUW has long pushed for paycheck equity, an issue Republicans have fought in Congress.
In Arkansas, the median earnings for men in 2011 was $37,488 and for women, $30,752, or 80 percent of men's pay.