Yesterday (April 12), we all gathered around to celebrate the 79 cents every woman makes to their male counterparts dollar.
Hooray for progress.
Despite being mandated as law in 1963 via the Equal Pay Act, women are still being underpaid for the same amount (and so much more) of work performed by men. Its funny that something that has been illegal for 53 years and counting persists as an issue in our illustrious country.
President Obama attempted to add some reinforcement to the 1963 Equal Pay Act by way of the Paycheck Fairness Act, but he was blocked by the Senate Republicans and the state of addressing the ever-present wage gap lives in the same gray area as many situationships. According to the National Women’s Law Center, the 79 cents for every dollar translates women losing more than $430,000 over 40 years of working, even more staggering amongst African American women who lost $877,000, and Latinas who lose more than a million dollars.
“Working harder” is about more than dealing with gender discrimination at face value, it has everything to do with sustaining a way of life that isn’t courtesy of balancing every paycheck. These few cents affect standards of living, and for those in big cities like New York that struggle is real.
More and more African American women are taking matters into their own hands, rising out of debt, starting their own businesses, and while these monumental gains are significant it will not change the tide of gender wage discrimination. Every person is not born an entrepreneur, many prefer the jobs at major corporations or smaller businesses – however you intend to leave your mark is a personal choice – so the need to demand more out of these 2016 nominees is more important than ever.
Women should not make it to year 60 of the Equal Pay Act still chasing a few more cents to be on the same field as men.