Tag Archives: women's rights

Congress Votes Down Paycheck Fairness Act

By Ashley Morris

On Wednesday, the Paycheck Fairness Act was voted down. What exactly does this mean for the future of women’s wages? American women continue to earn less than men, and the Paycheck Fairness Act would have addressed the loopholes employers have used to keep women from earning less.

Hillary Clinton, then a senator representing New York, introduced the 2009 Pay Check Fairness Act to strengthen the Equal Pay Act of 1963. In our April blog post, April 20 Is Equal Pay Day, we discussed the importance of a bill like this becoming law.

Fifty-eight voters approved the bill and 41 were against it.  It would have taken just two additional senators’ votes to pass the bill. But despite the bill’s failure by such a small margin, the fight for equal pay is far from over. The bill can be reinstated, but will have to go through both chambers of the new Congress next year.

On Wednesday, President Obama expressed his disappointment with Congress’s failure to pass the act, and said, “My administration will continue to fight for a woman’s right to equal pay for equal work.”

News like this is a great incentive to get more involved in finding out what your state elected officials are supporting when it comes to women’s rights and equal pay. Spread the word! The American Association of University Women suggests adding a pay equity web sticker to your website or blog to promote equal pay action. If you‘re looking for more ways on how to get involved, you can download a Pay Equity Resource kit at aauw.org. And write to your senators! Your voice can inspire those around you to become supporters for change in the fight for equal pay rights.

For more information on pay equity, visit aauw.org and opencongress.org.

Remembering Three Powerful Leaders Lost in Haiti

By Teen Voices editorial intern Michelle Golden

Even before the devastating earthquake hit Haiti on January 12, the country was struggling to forge a hopeful future. On January 20, three leaders in the women’s movement in Haiti were proclaimed dead as a result of the quake. Myriam Merlet, Magalie Marcelin, and Anne Marie Coriolan were three innovative leading women who empowered other women by peacefully negotiating against violence and establishing rape as a crime in Haiti — a crime that was prevalent before it was made punishable.

According to CNN’s Jessica Ravitz, Merlet, 53, was the chief of staff of Haiti’s Ministry for Gender and the Rights of Women, established in 1995. Also the founder of Enfofamn, an organization that works towards raising awareness about women through media, Merlet often made an effort to get streets named after Haitian women.

Marcelin was another well-known activist, as well as an actress and lawyer. Known for establishing the women’s rights organization Kay Fanm, which focuses specifically on domestic violence, Marcelin helped women in need by offering shelter and services to domestic violence victims.

Coriolan founded the advocacy and services organization Solidarite Fanm Ayisye, or Solidarity with Haitian Women. She was acknowledged as the top advisor of the women’s rights ministry.

These inspiring leaders fought with pride to establish equality for Haitian women. We have them, and Haiti, in our hearts.