FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Paycheck Fairness Act is an Integral Step Toward the America Women and Families Need, Women’s Leader Says
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
Washington, D.C. — January 23, 2013— “Just two days after a rousing inaugural speech in which the president laid out his vision for an equal and just America where women are paid fairly, members of Congress have an opportunity to take a significant step to address the gender-based wage discrimination that has plagued our nation for decades. Passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which was introduced today, must be a top priority.
The wage gap is a matter of basic fairness and economic well-being for the country’s working families. America’s women are paid just 77 cents for every dollar paid to men, resulting in more than $11,000 in lost income each year. For African American women and Latinas, who are paid just 70 and 60 cents, respectively, for every dollar paid to men, the financial impact of the wage gap is even worse — and the consequences can be devastating.
According to a recent analysis by the National Partnership, eliminating the wage gap would mean that African American women would have enough money for more than two years’ worth of food or more than three years’ worth of family health insurance premiums in a year. Latinas would have enough for nearly two years of rent or an additional 5,743 gallons of gas. Losses of this magnitude are unacceptable.
Nearly 50 years ago, Congress recognized and sought to address the harm caused by unfair pay practices by passing the Equal Pay Act. But the pay disparities America’s women continue to experience demonstrate that it did not do enough. The Paycheck Fairness Act would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act, help to break harmful patterns of wage discrimination, and establish stronger workplace protections for women. It is time for this Congress to make it law.
The National Partnership for Women & Families commends Senator Barbara Mikulski (D — Md.) and Representative Rosa DeLauro (D — Conn.) for their tremendous leadership in introducing and championing this bill. Every member of Congress should commit to supporting it and taking this essential step forward for women, families and the nation.”
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family. More information is available at www.NationalPartnership.org.