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For me, last week’s Labor Day holiday was a mixed bag. On the one hand, it was fun to have time to celebrate Labor Day while enjoying a backyard barbecue. On the other hand, there was sad news at my barbecue gathering: A friend shared that her husband had just lost his job and she is now the sole breadwinner for their family of four. And unfortunately, my friend makes a lot less than her husband did, so the family is taking a big hit.

She’s hardly alone. Women are now the primary or co-breadwinner in four out of 10 households. [1] Yet on average, women are still making only 77 cents to a man’s dollar (And women make less if they’re mothers, and even less still if they’re women of color). [2] This insanity has got to stop!

Fortunately there's hope on the horizon--especially if we make enough noise within the next two weeks before the Senate breaks for recess until after the November elections! (And with elections coming soon, members of Congress are paying extra close attention to constituent voices so your voice is particularly needed right now).

The clock is ticking. The Paycheck Fairness Act has passed the House, and we need to move this bill forward before the Senators go home in two weeks.

Help flood the Senate with calls today!  Click here to get your Senators’ contact information and a sample script for what to say when their staff answers the phone.  It's easy, takes just 60 seconds to call, and will make a HUGE impact: Click Here to Help!

This recession has made working moms’ earnings more important than ever to families’ economic security. Which is all the more reason we need our Senators to get on the right side of history, end wage discrimination, and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

In this tough economic climate, we shouldn't have to deal with having paychecks that are 27% smaller than they should be simply because we are mothers.

And in this election season, our Senators can take comfort voting for the Paycheck Fairness Act knowing that in a nationwide poll of registered voters, 84% said they support “a new law that would provide women more tools to get fair pay in the workplace.” [3]

What’s happening now?

President Obama has said he supports the Paycheck Fairness Act and it has passed in the U. S.  House of Representatives, yet it is stalled in the U. S. Senate.  American families can’t afford this delay!

Join millions of members of MomsRising, AAUW, the National Women’s Law Center, and many others on this national day of action who are making phone calls to the Senate!

Make the call! Take 60 seconds to tell your Senators that the Paycheck Fairness Act must be passed now! (We’ll provide an easy script of what to say): Click Here to Help!

Why do we need the Paycheck Fairness Act?

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 [4]Women who are mothers make even less - 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 offered $11,000 lower starting salaries (fathers, on the other hand, were offered $6,000 more in starting salaries than non-fathers).

Since over 80% of women in our nation have children by the time they're 44 years old, this means the majority of women in our nation are touched by this type of wage discrimination at some point in their lives.

Yes, the Maternal Wall is standing in the way of most women dreaming of even a chance at breaking the Glass Ceiling.

Even so, paycheck fairness isn't just a woman’s issue. 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 and putting the nation on the road to economic recovery.

Help us make some noise! Tell your Senators to get on the right side of history and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act before going on recess! Click Here to Help Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act!

If passed, the Paycheck Fairness Act will strengthen the 1963 Equal Pay Act because it will:

  • 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. [4] That’s a lot of cash that would come in handy right now for America's families.

*And, please also take a moment now to forward this email around to friends and family so they can take action too.

Learn more about the wage gap from the National Committee on Pay Equity. [5]

Together we have the power to make this happen!

P.S.  Amplify your message using 21st century media tools! Send a direct message to your Senators via Twitter and post comments on their Facebook walls!

[1] Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress, “The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything” 2009

[2] U.S. Census and National Women’s Law Center Fact sheet

[3] Poll conducted of 932 registered voters from May 21-24 2010 by Lake Research Partners

[4] U.S. Census and National Women’s Law Center Fact sheet

[5] National Committee on Pay Equity

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