Yesterday was the anniversary of the signing of the Equal Pay Act by President Kennedy in 1963. It was a big deal, to put it lightly, and in the 47 years since it was signed, we’ve still got a long way to go when it comes to pay equity.
Courtney mentioned this in the What We Missed yesterday. Here is what President Obama had to say about Equal Pay Day:
On June 10, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Equal Pay Act, which sought to end wage discrimination on the basis of sex. At the time, women were paid 59 cents for every dollar earned by men. 47 years later, pay parity remains far from reality, as women in the United States still only earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. For women of color, this gap is even wider. This remains unacceptable, as it was when the Act was signed. All women – and their families – deserve equal pay. Women now make up nearly half of the nation’s workforce, most homes have two working parents, and 60 percent of all women work full-time. As we emerge from one of the worst recessions in American history, when families are struggling to pay their bills and save for the future, pay inequity only deepens that struggle and hampers our economy’s ability to fully recover.
I’m really glad he mentioned the race gap disparity. I’m still shocked by the report I wrote about a few months ago (and that Latoya at Racialicious examined in depth) which explained how big the gap between white women and women of color is when it comes to wealth.
There is much work to be done.