Tuesday, April 8 is Equal Pay Day. It is observed in April to indicate how far into each year a woman must work to earn as much as a man earned in the previous year. Equal Pay Day is an unhappy marker of how far we have to go before we close the gender wage gap. The wage gap has not budged in nearly a decade, leaving women and families continuing to suffer the effects of lost wages.
The American Association of University Women empowers women and girls through advocacy, education, philanthropy and research. Since its founding in 1881, AAUW has been committed to promoting equity for women. AAUW’s 2013-15 Public Policy Program states that AAUW is committed to supporting “fairness in compensation, equitable access and advancement in employment, and rigorous enforcement of employment anti-discrimination statutes.” AAUW believes pay equity is a simple matter of justice and continues to support initiatives that seek to close the persistent and sizable wage gaps between men and women.
If you are a woman, have a mother, a sister, a daughter or a niece, you should be concerned about this issue. It is time for Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would expand upon the scope of the Equal Pay Act. Contact your U.S. representative and U.S. senators to act now to pass this important legislation.
For more information about the equal pay gap, log on to the AAUW website: www.aauw.org/resource/quick-facts-on-the-gender-pay-gap/.
Barbara Peck and Mary Ann Cox-Martin
Lodi Branch, American Association of University Women