"At the current rate of change, it will take until 2056 for the median annual earnings of men and women to reach parity, according to new research from the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

The report, released today in honor of the 100th anniversary of International Women's Day, acknowledges great strides by women in education and employment.

But, overall the ratio of women's to men's median annual earnings stuck at 77 percent in 2008 and 2009 after peaking at 78 percent in 2007, the report says.

Some of the disparity is due to women's work in "pink collar" jobs -- which pay less than "blue collar" work -- as well as their participation in the part-time workforce and their interrupted careers as they take time off for child rearing.

As a result, said Jeffrey Hayes, a senior research associate at the institute, 'Women have less money to save for the future, and their Social Security will reflect their lower earnings after they retire.'"