Today is Equal Pay Day. It represents how far into 2010 women have to work to make the same salary as men in 2009. This year it’s 100 days into the year. It’s more than a third of the way through the year and women are just now catching up to men in the last calendar year! That’s not just sad, it’s fucked up.
The worst part is, women should already be making equal wages to men according to the law! But without the teeth to enforce it and without the means to fight wage discrimination, millions of women have to just put up with being treated like second-class workers.
Here’s the scoop from The Women’s Media Center, via the AAUW:
The Paycheck Fairness Act is a comprehensive bill that updates the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by taking meaningful steps to create stronger incentives for employers to follow the law, empower women to negotiate for equal pay, and strengthen federal outreach and enforcement efforts. Passing this legislation — approved by the House more than a year ago — is the next logical step following the 2009 enactment of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which restored the ability of working women to have their day in court to combat wage discrimination.
This whole equal pay for equal work thing isn’t just some feminist slogan. It has to do with the quality of life of all Americans! Single mothers, dual-wage families, single women, lesbian couples … and so many more are impacted by this very real disparity in income. When roughly 50% of the population is undercut financially, it affects us all!
For the past quarter of a century, American families have relied increasingly upon women’s wages to make ends meet. From 1980 to 2006, women’s income as a share of total family income rose from 26.7 percent to 35.6 percent. The Great Recession — during which the importance of a working woman’s wage has never been higher — has intensified this trend. For the first time in American history, women today represent half of the paid workforce, and two-thirds of women are either the primary or co-breadwinner for their families. In other words, pay equity is not just a moral issue; it is an economic imperative with enormous implications not just for women but also for working families, communities, and the nation’s recovery.
We don’t know which the way the winds are going to blow in this economy. There’s never been a better time to get involved with this important issue. It’s about how we value women in our society. And it’s about how we value each other in the workforce. Don’t you think it should be fair and equitable?
77 cents on the dollar is not equal. It’s not fair. And it’s hurting America, it’s families, it’s elderly, it’s workforce!