Today is national Equal Pay Day. Fifty years after passage of the Equal Pay Act, women are still fighting to receive equal consideration for the same rights and privileges afforded their male counterparts. From the women's suffrage movement to women in military combat, I am incredibly proud to see women crushing barriers that have stood in the way of progression and parity. However, we must still address the upsetting issue of pay inequality.
Here are some appalling facts about the pay gap between women and men:
According to the United States Department of Labor, women make up over 46 percent of the workforce. Yet there is over a 20 percent salary gap between men and women
According to the National Women's Law Center, Louisiana ranks 50th in pay equity for women
Louisiana women earn about 69 cents on the dollar compared to men
On average, men in Louisiana earned $46,313 compared to women, who earned $31,844 per year
I am deeply disturbed by these facts and recognize the need to eradicate this injustice. For that reason, I proudly co-sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act. We need a common-sense solution to the lingering problem of pay inequality. The current standards in the workforce are in no way acceptable for our nation and should not be a reflection of the value we place on the contributions of working women.
I want you to know that I will continue to stand in support of pay equality for women in Louisiana and across the country. If we are to truly see progress here, both men and women will have to come together to combat this inequality.
Congressman Cedric Richmond
2nd Congressional District of Louisiana