Over 325 women’s rights, labor rights, and civil rights organizations held activities across the nation in celebration of Equal Pay Day to raise awareness of the wage gap between men and women. In Colorado, Texas, South Carolina, Michigan, New Mexico, Nebraska, Vermont, and Maine, supporters organized grassroots events at their state capitols, and in Washington, DC, members of Congress hosted a news briefing on wage discrimination attended by the National Committee on Pay Equity and the AFL-CIO. The National Women’s Law Center, based in Washington, DC, also issued a call to Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill introduced in the Senate by Tom Daschle (D-SD) and in the House by Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) that would strengthen protections guaranteed by the Equal Pay Act.
Women working full-time earn only 73 cents for every dollar earned by men. When isolated by race, minority women earn much less. African-American women earn 65 cents and Latina women earn only 53 cents for every dollar earned by white males. After controlling for age, education, marital status, and race, women still earn less than males according to a report released by the General Accounting Office. Equal Pay Day is observed today, a Tuesday. According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, “Tuesday is symbolic of the point into the week that a woman must work in order to earn the wages paid to a main in the previous week.”