How to “Celebrate” Equal Pay Day
Equal Pay Day is the symbolic day when women’s earnings “catch up” to men’s earnings from the previous year. It’s also a powerful occasion to raise awareness about and organize action around the gender pay gap in your community. We need your help to organize AAUW Equal Pay Day activities in all 50 states!
What You Should Know about AAUW and Equal Pay Policy
In D.C.? Join us April 4 to “celebrate” AAUW’s Equal Pay Day unHappy Hour
The gender pay gap is a primary issue for AAUW, and one that we have been working on for years. As early as 1922, AAUW’s legislative program called for a reclassification of the U.S. Civil Service and repeal of salary restrictions in the Women’s Bureau. In 1955, AAUW supported a bill introduced by Reps. Edith Green (D-OR) and Edith Rogers (R-MA) requiring “equal pay for work of comparable value requiring comparable skills.” Congress finally enacted the Equal Pay Act, a version of the 1955 bill, in 1963.
Despite the Equal Pay Act, the wage gap persists; women are typically paid just 80 cents on average for every dollar paid to men — and that number has barely budged in a decade. Although enforcement of the Equal Pay Act and other civil rights laws has helped to narrow the wage gap, significant disparities still must be addressed.
To improve the scope of the Equal Pay Act, AAUW advocates passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. This would give employers stronger incentives to follow the law, enhance federal enforcement efforts, and prohibit retaliation against workers asking about wage practices.
AAUW promotes Equal Pay Day to draw attention to the gender pay gap and build support for the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Think 80 cents is bad? The pay gap is even worse for women of color. AAUW also observes Asian American Women’s Equal Pay Day in March, African American Women’s Equal Pay Day in August, Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day in September, and Latina Equal Pay Day in October.
The Leader for December 2016, Vol. 29, issue 2
Read it under the Newsletter tab above.