Every year, the National Association of Pay Equity (NCPE) recognizes the day in the new year that women need to work in order to equal the earnings of men in the previous year. In 2014, that day was Tuesday, April 8.
The Association initiated Equal Pay Day in 1996 to illustrate the gap between the earnings of men and women. Eighteen years later, despite strides made by women, the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, the wage gap persists: African American and Latina women earned 68.6 and 57.5 percent of men’s earnings, both numbers signifying a decrease from the previous year. Asian women were better of with an increase to 92 percent.
We believe that pay equity is a right that women are entitled to, and given that many women in America are heads of households with children, that equal pay is necessary to pull women and children out of poverty. We join NCPE and urge you to contact your House Representatives and Senatorsand let them know that you want them to support the bills that would ensure fair pay.
While the gap between men’s and women’s wages has narrowed gradually over time, it has remained stagnant this century.
This illustrates more than ever the need to strengthen and update the Equal Pay Act of 1963 by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act.
The President signs Executive Orders on Tuesday, April 8th
President Obama signed two executive orders on Tuesday, April 8 to promote equal pay fort women. One of the executive orders will prohibit federal contractors from taking action against employees who discuss publicly how much money they make.
The second will require federal contractors to report data to the government showing the compensation they offer their employees broken down by sex and race. The White House officials think these actions will lead to transparency. Advocates for pay equity hope that these steps will pave the way to the passing of a Fair Pay Act.
The YWCA of Brooklyn stood in solidarity with other Equal Pay advocates on the City Hall steps on April 8, 2014 to demand lawmakers change laws to enable pay equality between men and women.