Women of every race and ethnicity experience a gender pay gap in the United States, but for Latina women that wage gap is staggering. On average, women are paid 79 cents for every dollar that a white man is paid, while for Latina women are paid only 56 cents.
Today, ten months into the calendar year, is the Latina Equal Pay Day. In other words, this is the day when Latina women finally catch up to white non-Hispanic men’s annual earnings from 2014.
A recent study by the National Women’s Law Center revealed that Latina women are underpaid at every education level, with the largest gab between those with the least education. The study revealed disturbing discrepancies in pay, including that Latinas with a bachelor’s degree are paid almost the same as white men with only a high school education. Similarly, there exists a wage gap across occupations.
Democratic women in Congress have been pushing for legislation that would greatly lessen the gender pay gap experienced by women in the workforce, as well as prevent retaliation against women seeking pay parity. The Paycheck Fairness Act, introduced in the Senate in 2013, would prohibit retaliation for sharing pay information, as well as require employers to prove that any pay disparity is not on the basis of sex. It has since been blocked by Republicans in the Senate more than once. Earlier this year California Governor Jerry Brown was set to sign a similar bill that was called “the strongest equal pay law in the nation.”
Research by the American Association of University Women shows that Latina women are an increasingly influential constituency in the United States. As a powerful and growing voting bloc AAUW advises presidential candidates to take a special note to the gender wage gap by addressing the challenge.
A Twitter storm about Latina Equal Pay Day will be held today from 3:30-4:30 pm ET co-hosted by the American Association of University Women, the Feminist Majority, and the National Women’s Law Center among other organizations using the hashtag #LatinaEqualPay.
Media Sources: National Women’s Law Center; American Association of University Women; Feminist Newswire 4/14/15;