As the country marks Equal Pay Day today, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree said the country needs to continue moving forward on its commitment to close the wage gap, providing women equal pay as men for equal work.
"In the last 40 years, we have made good progress toward bridging the gap between men's and women's wages--I was thrilled to be part of it when we passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act last year," said Pingree. "But the divide women face today is significant. They still earn less than 80 cents for every dollar earned by men on average."
Last year Pingree led debate during passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which removed roadblocks that prevented women from filing discrimination claims. For video of her floor speech, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r0CJic2Ymyg.
Since the Equal Pay Act was signed into law in 1963, the wage gap has narrowed by less than a half-cent per year. Every April, advocates for equal pay mark the time of year in which the wages paid to American women "catch up" to the wages paid to men from the previous year. In other words, because the average woman earns less, she must work longer for the same amount of pay.
"In tough economic times like this, when every penny counts, this is a major issue for working families," said Pingree. "Women are out there making incredible contributions to all kinds of businesses and organizations across the country--isn't it time those contributions are recognized, in full?"