Today is Equal Pay Day–the day marking how far into the year a woman must work, on average, to earn as much as a man earned the previous year. This gap costs women and their families $10,784 every year (median)–as CAP documents, that money could go a long way in these hard economic times:
Over a 40-year career, the amount lost to this income inequality adds up to nearly half a million dollars–almost enough to feed a family of four for 37 years:
Achieving equal pay for women has been one of the top priorities of House Democrats. In 2009, the Democratic-led Congress passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act restoring the right of women to challenge unfair pay in court–-and it became the first bill signed into law by President Obama:
House Democrats also passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would provide a much-needed update to the 49-year-old Equal Pay Act by providing effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans stood in the way of progress for women and their families. As Leader Pelosi said today, we must “recommit ourselves to the cause of economic prosperity for all Americans”:
On Equal Pay Day, we recommit ourselves to the cause of economic prosperity for all Americans, which is only possible through equal pay for equal work. By ensuring fairness and equality in the workplace, we can strengthen American families and indeed the nation.
I’m proud of the accomplishments of the Democratic-led Congress on behalf of equal pay and fairness. The Lilly Ledbetter Act — the first bill President Obama signed into law —restored the right of women and other workers to challenge unfair pay in court. Further, under the Affordable Care Act, soon women will no longer be charged higher premiums than men for the same coverage and no longer will being a woman be treated as a pre-existing condition.
On Equal Pay Day, we honor all of our nation’s women, who through their labor – at home and in the workplace – have made our country strong. And we recommit to opening the doors of opportunity for the next generation of women.