Congresswomen Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Donna Edwards (D-MD) and Doris Matsui (D-CA) released the following statements today marking Equal Pay Day. Today marks the day that women finally make the same amount that their male counterparts made the previous year. Read more about thePaycheck Fairness Act here.
"Equal Pay Day provides a reminder of the persistent inequities that women face in the workforce," DeLauro said. "The fact women make only 77 cents for every dollar earned by their male colleagues threatens women and families' financial stability. With women bringing home an increasingly bigger share of family income, smaller paychecks hurt their spouses and children, as well as the entire economy. That is why Congress needs to pass The Paycheck Fairness Act. Equal pay for equal work should not be a partisan issue; it is time for the Paycheck Fairness Act to become law."
"President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law 50 years ago, yet women still earn 77 cents to the dollar compared to their male colleagues," Edwards said. "Equal pay is not just a women's issue, it is a family and economic issue. The wage gap hurts everyone -- husbands, wives, children, and parents -- because it lowers family incomes that pay for daily essentials such as groceries, doctors' visits, and child care. An entire family benefits when women earn equal pay, and that is why closing the wage gap must be an integral part of strengthening America's working families and our economy."
"Each year, Equal Pay Day serves not only as a reminder of how far we have come, but of how much work is left to be done in the struggle for equal pay between men and women," said Matsui. "In 1963, President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, signaling our nation's commitment to equal pay for women in every workplace. Now, fifty years later, I am pleased to be an original cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act as my Democratic colleagues and I continue to fight against gender-based pay discrimination. When women are paid equal pay for equal work our economy as a whole benefits. It is imperative that we continue this fight and eliminate the wage gap once and for all."
"This June, fifty years will have passed since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, and the gap in wages has barely budged--shrinking only 18 cents in five decades and remaining stagnant for the last decade," said National Women's Law Center (NWLC) Co-President Marcia D. Greenberger. "And for women of color, the situation is even worse. At a time when families are relying increasingly on women's wages, it's especially critical to close this gap. Equal pay is not an abstract principle for women and their families. It means thousands of dollars of lost wages every year that cut deeply into household budgets and force many families to go without basic necessities."
"The wage gap has barely budged in the 10-plus years Congress has been considering the Paycheck Fairness Act," said Lisa Maatz, director of public policy and government relations for the American Association of University Women (AAUW). "Clearly this problem is not going away on its own. Neither market forces nor current laws are strong enough to ensure workers are paid the same wage for the same job, regardless of gender. This inequality affects women's wages today and their retirements tomorrow. Given women's political clout, policymakers oppose this bill at their own risk."
"Equal Pay Day is a stark reminder that the gender-based wage gap continues to hurt women and families in every corner of the country, regardless of education level or occupation," said Debra L. Ness, president of the National Partnership for Women & Families. "With most women serving as essential breadwinners for their families, the loss of critical income that could go toward basic necessities like food, housing and gas has devastating consequences. This year, it will be 50 years since the Equal Pay Act became law. It is past time to make gender-based pay discrimination a thing of the past. Congress must prioritize passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act."