Congresswoman Maxine Waters (CA-43) released the following statement in recognition of the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, which was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy on June 10, 1963.
"As a longtime advocate for the advancement of women throughout society, it is my honor to acknowledge the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963. This landmark law established the principle of equal pay for equal work for women in the workforce throughout the United States. In 1963, women made just 59 cents for every dollar earned by men, and this law was a critical first step to correcting this injustice.
"Today, our fight for equal pay for equal work is not yet complete. Fifty years later, women still make just 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. For African-American and Latina women in our workforce, the pay gap is even larger. African-American women earn just 64 cents and Latinas just 55 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. We have certainly made progress as a nation, but for too many in our society, not enough has changed over the last 50 years.
"Achieving equal pay for equal work has been one of my top priorities since I began my career in public service, and there is still more to be done. I voted for the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which restored a woman's right to fight pay discrimination. In the 110th and 111th Congresses, I co-sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is a much needed update to the Equal Pay Act that has never been strengthened or updated over the last 50 years.
"According to the Pew Research Center, a record 40 percent of households are now headed by mothers who are the primary breadwinners for their families. Equal pay is more than just a women's issue -- it is both a family issue and an economic issue. On this important anniversary, with a considerable pay gap still existing between men and women, let us all recommit to work together until we have achieved an America where women are truly paid equal pay for equal work."