The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Claire O'Brien, (202) 675-2312;

ACLU Marks Women's Equality Day With Call for Paycheck Fairness Act

Senate Must Make Final Push to Pass Crucial Bill


American Civil Liberties Union today celebrated Women's Equality Day by
renewing its call for the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act (S.
182), a bill that would finally close the wage gap between men and
women. Women's Equality Day this year marks 90 years since the passage
of the 19th Amendment, which guaranteed to women the fundamental right to vote.

"As we mark the 90th
anniversary of a watershed moment in American history, we are reminded
that the struggle for women's equality continues," said Laura W. Murphy,
Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office. "Looking back on
past victories highlights just how much further America needs to go.
It's unacceptable that nearly 50 years after the Equal Pay Act became
law, women, on average, still make only 77 cents for every dollar earned
by a man."

Paycheck Fairness Act would provide a crucial update to the Equal Pay
Act of 1963 by closing loopholes in the current law and strengthening
weak remedies. The Paycheck Fairness Act would also provide workers with
the tools they need to ensure equal compensation, including fair
remedies, additional enforcement tools and technical assistance and
training for both employers and employees. Last year, the House of
Representatives overwhelmingly passed the Paycheck Fairness Act; the
bill currently has 40 co-sponsors in the Senate and is poised for

"As the 19th
Amendment gave women equality at the polls, the Paycheck Fairness Act
will give women equality in the workplace," added Murphy. "Passing this
crucial legislation is the next step in the fight for equal rights, and
the Senate must ensure that women today and for generations to come can
bring home the pay they rightfully earn."

"Women's Equality Day not only commemorates the passage of the 19th
Amendment, but also serves as an important reminder that though women
have won political rights, we must still work to achieve economic
rights," said Deborah J. Vagins, ACLU Legislative Counsel. "In this
economy, equal pay is not only fundamental to American ideals of
fairness, it is necessary for families' economic survival. We have never
been closer to passing this crucial legislation; we urge the Senate to
move this bill forward."

A letter from the ACLU to the Senate in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act is available at:

The American Civil Liberties Union was founded in 1920 and is our nation's guardian of liberty. The ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

(212) 549-2666