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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 7/15/10

Women Still Making 77 Cents to Every Man's Dollar? You're kidding, right?

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Did you see this? I really hope so. My baby girl turned one (!!!) three weeks ago. And when friends kept asking what they could give Vivi for her birthday, my first reaction was: "She doesn't need a bunch of presents she's only a year old.'"

But then I realized that is not true. There's one big thing that my smart, beautiful, curious little girl doesn't have: a guarantee that she will earn the same amount of money as a man for doing the same job.

My little girl, Vivi, doesn't have pay equity.

So for Vivi and all the little (and big) girls across this country, urge your Senators stand up for the Paycheck Fairness Act.

*Taking two minutes to send a note to your Senators urging them to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act will make a big difference for all of our daughters!


P.S. Hope you got a chance to read the below message with more details.

From: Kristin, MomsRising.org <info@momsrising.org>
Subject: Here's why we're mad
Date: July 9, 2010 6:58:38 AM PDT

Tell your Senators to quickly pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. We've gone far too long without equal pay for equal work.

Our daughters can't afford for us to wait any longer!

Take Action

"I'm mad. And, truthfully, what I'm most mad about is that we're even here in the first place. Women are still making just 77 cents to a man's dollar. Yet we find ourselves having to prove, and prove again, that pay equity should be a priority -- and in a recession no less when the paychecks of women are even more important than ever to keeping families fiscally solvent. It's ridiculous. The U.S. House passed the Paycheck Fairness Act in Jan 2009. I never thought we'd hit the summer of 2010 without the U.S. Senate passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, too. They need to just do it already, because I don't know about you, but I'd kinda like to know which Senators support pay equity when I go to the polls in November." -- Lisa Maatz, Director of Public Policy, AAUW (American Association of University Women)

Lisa's not alone. We regularly hear from moms across the country who are also mad about being paid less for the same jobs as men.

Let's put that anger to work. We have a fighting chance of moving the Paycheck Fairness Act forward right now. This week and and next, U.S. Senators are deciding what's going to come up for a vote in the next month--and we need to let them know that the Paycheck Fairness Act needs to be on their action list.

*Take a moment now to sign a letter to the U.S. Senate urging them to stop wasting time and to move quickly to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act:


We have quite a ways to go, sadly. Things aren't looking up for women's paychecks now--and the wages of women who are mothers' are particularly impacted. On the whole, women working full-time, year-round make an average of 77 cents to every dollar that men make [1]. To get a bit more specific, although women overall make 77 cents to a man's dollar, mothers specifically make only 73 cents to a man's dollar, and single mothers make the least at about 60 cents to a man's dollar. Women of color experience even more wage hits.

Further, a recent study found that with equal resumes and job experiences, mothers were hired 79% less of the time than non-mothers--and were offered $11,000 lower starting salaries (Fathers, on the other hand, were offered $6,000 more starting salaries than non-fathers).

Wage discrimination against mothers has enormous rippling repercussions. For example, nearly a quarter of young families are living in poverty--and the USDA reported in December 2009 that one out of every four children in our nation are experiencing food scarcity due to family economic limitations. The majority of families these days need the wages of two parents to make ends meet, and getting equal pay for equal work would go a long way toward helping family economic security.

It's going to take all of us fighting together on many different fronts to lower these wage gaps. But we can do it. Passing the Paycheck Fairness Act is an important step toward increased family economic security in our nation.

What does the Paycheck Fairness Act do? It would:

  • Deter wage discrimination by strengthening penalties for equal pay violations and by prohibiting retaliation against workers who ask about employers' wage practices or disclose their own wages;
  • Empower women to negotiate for equal pay;
  • Strengthen federal outreach, education and enforcement efforts;
  • Create stronger incentives for employers to follow the law.

Fair pay is especially critical in this tough economy because more and more women are the sole breadwinners in their families. The average woman loses $700,000 in pay due to gender discrimination in her lifetime. For women of color, this number can be even higher.[2] That's a lot of cash that would come in handy right now for America's families.

*Sign on to our letter now to the U.S. Senate urging them to move quickly to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act:


As I watch my eleven-year-old daughter playing in the yard with her friends, I can't help but agree with Lisa that the fact that the Paycheck Fairness Act hasn't passed yet is maddening. My hope for my daughter--and for all girls across the nation--is that by the time they're older, their paychecks will be the same as men in the same jobs with equal resumes.

And, please also take a moment now to forward this email around to friends and family so they can take action too. The voices of mothers are incredibly powerful in Congress. Believe it or not, when moms speak out, our elected leaders listen. So the bigger the noise we make, the more likely we are to get the Paycheck Fairness Act moving in the Senate.

Together we have the power to make this happen!

- Kristin, Sarah, Joan, Mary, Ruth, the MomsRising Team (and Lisa, AAUW)

[1] U.S. Census and National Women's Law Center Fact sheet

[2] National Committee on Pay Equity

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