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Feminists Commemorate Equal Pay Day

Today is Equal Pay Day, the day when women’s wages equal their male colleagues’ earnings of the previous year. American women make 78 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn and the pay gap is significantly wider for women of color. This year, feminists celebrated the passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which corrects a Roberts Supreme Court decision (see PDF) that gutted the ability of women workers to sue for wage discrimination, but much work remains. The Paycheck Fairness Act, for example, passed in the House, but has not been approved in the Senate.

In a report released today by the Government Accountability Office that was requested by Representative Carolyn Maloney and Senators Harkin and Kennedy, the GAO found that an 11 cent pay gap remains for government employees and that 7 cents of this gap cannot be explained by educational or experiential differences, according to Representative Maloney.

National Organization for Women President Kim Gandy said in a statement “The disparity between what women and men are paid stubbornly persists, even after controlling for years of education, work experience and type of occupation….Clearly some employers will keep discriminating if they can get away with it, and it’s Congress’ job to pass more effective laws — like the Paycheck Fairness Act — so they can’t.”

Sources:

Feminist Daily Newswire 4/26/06, 1/29/09; Carolyn Maloney in Huffington Post 4/28/09; NOW Press Release 4/28/09

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