Women Deserve a Fair Day's Wage for Their Work ; COMMUNITY COMMENT

By Taylor, Erika | Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current), April 7, 2013 | Go to article overview

Women Deserve a Fair Day's Wage for Their Work ; COMMUNITY COMMENT


Taylor, Erika, Evansville Courier & Press (2007-Current)


Tuesday is the national observance of Equal Pay Day; the day that symbolizes how many days into 2013 women must work to earn what men earned in 2012. It's also a day when many in the country gather to recognize and raise awareness about the wage gap between working women and men, and to offer remedies for pay inequity. On June 10, 1963, while signing the Equal Pay Act, President John Kennedy, said: "While much remains to be done to achieve full equality of economic opportunity - for the average woman worker earns only 60 percent of the average wage for men - this legislation is a significant step forward."

Undoubtedly, President Kennedy believed the legislation he signed was a significant step forward in the wage equality effort. The reality is, however, 50 years later women still have not achieved wage equality. In fact, since the signing of the Equal Pay Act the wage gap has closed at a painfully slow rate of a half cent per year. According to the 2010 U.S. Census women are paid, on average, 77 cents for every dollar their male counterparts are paid - a gap of 23 cents. It's even worse for women working in Indiana. The wage gap in Indiana is one of the largest in the nation, with women making only 73 cents for every dollar a man makes (Center for American Progress). The gap is even larger for women of color. Maybe you don't think 23 cents sounds like a lot, but consider this: In a 40-year working career a woman in Indiana will be shortchanged more than $500,000 in career earnings.

To add insult to injury, the assertion the wage gap is just a myth continues to persist in some circles despite evidence to the contrary and research from government and private organizations and agencies. …

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