AAUW members educate students about gender pay gap

Barbara Peck, third from left, speaks to students at San Joaquin Delta College about the gender pay gap.

In an effort to bring awareness of the pay gap between men and women doing the same job, members of Lodi’s AAUW (American Association of University Women) went to Delta College with an important message for students. This message was attached to 200 individual cookies that each had a 23 percent chunk missing, leaving only 77 percent of the cookie.

The message read, “For every dollar men make in the USA, women make only 77 cents for the same job.” As students ate the cookies and talked with AAUW’s members, all agreed that this pay difference was unfair and needed to be stopped.

The National AAUW report, The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap, used the most current statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau, to review the history of the efforts to eliminate the gender pay gap. “In 1963, Congress passed the Equal Pay Act, which requires employers to give men and women employees ‘equal pay for equal work.’  One year later, in 1964, the Civil Rights Act was passed. Title VII of that act bars all discrimination in employment, including discrimination in hiring, firing, promotion, and wages on the basis of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. 

Yet these legal protections have not ensured equal pay for women and men doing equal work. In 2009, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act which clarifies the inequality of pay for the same job and gives the employee 180 days from any of the instances to file a claim.” Pages 20 to 21.

In 2010, AAUW and coalition partners lobbied hard for the Paycheck Fairness Act with the support of many senators and the Whitehouse. Sadly, the act failed in procedural votes in the summer of 2012. The Paycheck Fairness Act has been reintroduced. If passed, it would allow individuals to sue for fair wages and to receive punitive damages. 

— Source: Margie Paulsen

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