(Un)Equal Pay for Equal Work

By Miri Cypers, JWI Senior Policy and Advocacy Specialist

It’s the year 2012 but women still earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. This amounts to an average of $10,622 in lost wages each year and approximately $380,000 over a woman’s career. For so many women and their families, this additional money could go towards so much- paying for college tuition, a mortgage on a house, and basic necessities such as groceries and health insurance.

Forty nine years ago, when the Equal Pay Act was signed into law by President Kennedy, women earned on average 59 cents to every dollar earned by a man. While this law and others like the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act have benefited women, much more must be done to ensure women’s economic parity and security.

Today, on Equal Pay Day, we rededicate ourselves to closing the wage gap. As more and more women enter the workforce, we must work to close the wage gap on three fronts: 1) by fighting back attacks against fair pay laws, 2) ensuring that our mothers and daughters are financially literate, confident, and prepared for professional hurdles, and 3) urging our lawmakers to enact more legislation that will end gender pay discrimination as we know it such as the Paycheck Fairness Act. In a Huffington Post piece written by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, she argues that achieving equal pay for women is not just an issue of fairness, but will help middle class families thrive and grow the U.S. economy. Let’s get to work.

This blog is part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.

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