WASHINGTON - APRIL 25 - Today, April 25, is Equal Pay Day -- the day when women's average
earnings finally catch up with the amount men earned on average in
the previous calendar year alone. At our founding in 1966, the
National Organization for Women identified the wage gap and its
negative impact on women. Forty years later, the gap remains wide
and progress has slowed to a crawl. Now, women working full-time,
year-round, are paid only about three-quarters as much as men, and
African-American women and Latinas receive even less.
Women are still not receiving equal pay for equal work, let alone
equal pay for work of equal value. According to data from the
Department of Labor, women are paid less than men in every
occupation for which sufficient information is available -- more
than 300 job classifications. This disparity not only affects
women's day-to-day spending power; it also affects their retirement
by penalizing them through gaps in social security and pensions. In
spite of the passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, the pay gap
remains, having closed by an average of less than half a penny per
year since the act was passed.
That is why NOW proudly joins with the WAGE (Women Are Getting
Even) Project and other women's rights allies in launching WAGE
Clubs -- an exciting new nationwide grassroots movement forged to
help grow women's wages. WAGE clubs will provide women with a forum
where they can discuss wage discrimination and strategize about how
to right this wrong.
If women were paid as much as men who work the same number of
hours, have the same education and union status, are the same age,
and live in the same region of the country, then women's annual
income would rise by $4,000 and poverty rates would be cut in half.
Working families would gain an astounding $200 billion in family
"It is shameful that, in the United States of America, women are
paid so much less than men - and that that there is so little
political will to deal with the disparity," said NOW President Kim
Gandy. "These inequities are injuring women and our families. Both
employers and politicians are way past due in demonstrating that
they value women's contributions as much as they value men's."
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