Sen. Biden: All Americans Deserve Equal Compensation for Equal Labor
U.S. Senator Joseph R. Biden, Jr. (D-DE) issued the following statement today in observance of this year's Equal Pay Day, April 24, 2007:
"Women have made enormous strides to access every opportunity open to men. But despite that progress, we're still fighting to make sure women are compensated fairly. Since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law in 1963, the wage gap between men and women has narrowed by only 18 cents--less than half a cent per year. That statistic doesn't just hurt women - the wage gap lowers all family incomes, making it harder to put food on the table or pay for child care. In fact, single mothers are twice as likely to live below the federal poverty line as single fathers - that's 3.5 million single mother families who are living every day in poverty.
"Critics of pay equity often attribute the pay gap to differences in occupation, hours, education or childcare. But, according to a new landmark study by the American Association of University Women, one-quarter of the current pay gap is completely unexplained by any of these factors and leads to the only conclusion that sex discrimination is at work in the workplace.
"All Americans deserve equal compensation for equal labor. We cannot afford to stay silent when countless women and families continue to be hurt by wage discrimination."
According to 2006 census statistics, the average woman in a full-time position earns only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. Every year, advocates call attention to this glaring disparity with Equal Pay Day in April.