By Teen Voices editorial intern Ariana Hakim
Did you know that in 2010, women are still paid about 77 cents for every dollar that their male counterparts earn for the same work? Today, women and men who believe in equal pay are wearing red to signify how women are still kept “in the red.” Equal Pay Day is held on April 20 because this is the date when women’s salaries finally catch up with men’s salaries from the previous calendar year.
So why is this still happening in 2010? Great question! President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963 hoping to get rid of this pay gap, but employers have found loopholes to get around paying women the same salaries as men. In 2009, Senator Hillary Clinton introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act to help close these loopholes, but the House and Senate have yet to pass it. Statistics from the U.S. Census indicate that a growing number of women are the breadwinners in their households, either because they are single mothers or because they make more than their spouse.
The National Committee on Pay Equity, the National Women’s Law Center, and the American Association of University Women are only a few organizations working to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.
See how men and women’s salaries have changed over the years at Pay Equity.
Urge your senator to vote for the Paycheck Fairness Act at opencongress.org.