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Today, April 8, 2014, is Equal Pay Day. According to the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE), equal Pay Day was originated in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men's and women's wages.
Per the NCPE, “Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. The wage gap is even greater for most women of color.” Equal Pay Day is a signifier of just how much longer women most work to narrow the pay gap.
In 1963 Congress passed and President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act of 1963. The Equal Pay Act amended the Fair Labor Standards Act and aimed to abolish wage disparity based on sex. In 1963 women earned $0.59 to a man’s $1.00. Today the gap has narrowed to a woman earning, on average, 77% of a man’s earnings. The fact that there is still a wage gap shows there is still work to be done.
In an attempt to continue to advance a fair wage agenda, President Obama issued a Proclamation recognizing National Equal Pay Day and calling on all Americans to demand pay equality. Pay inequality is often a divisive issue, though ultimately affects everyone. So, for yourself or your mother, daughter, sister, cousin, niece or female friend stand up and demand equal pay for equal work.
Read more about Equal Pay Day and different sides of the pay equality debate by accessing the articles and resources below.