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Ariana Kelly's picture

President Obama made an important promise last week during the State of the Union address:

"We are going to crack down on violations of equal pay laws - so that women get equal pay for an equal day's work."

Now it's time for us to turn this promise into reality.

Thanks to President Obama's declaration in the State of the Union, the issue of modern women still not getting equal pay for equal work is in the spotlight. And it's not just President Obama who's paying increased attention to this issue right now.  Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid--after receiving requests from MomsRising members and others over the past couple of months--recently said he will schedule a hearing on the Paycheck Fairness Act within a matter of weeks.

Our families are increasingly relying on our paychecks to keep roofs over childrens' heads and food on the table, making it more important than ever for us to earn equal pay for equal work.   We must move quickly to organize moms and allies in order to take advantage of the attention President Obama has created on equal pay for women. No longer should mothers be making 77 cents to a man's dollar. No longer should equally qualified women be paid less for the same job as a man.

That’s why it's absolutely essential that we, as a nation, make family economic security issues like pay equity a priority! Women are now half of the paid labor force in our nation for the first time ever.  The labor of working women is increasingly essential to their family's economic security, and is now also critical to the overall economic health of the United States.  However, the public and private policies that affect parenting and the workplace have remained largely unchanged during this massive societal shift.  As a result, families are reeling and parents of all socioeconomic backgrounds are struggling to earn enough and keep their families healthy.

The Paycheck Fairness Act is a much needed update of the 46-year-old Equal Pay Act. It’s a comprehensive bill that would create stronger incentives for employers to follow the law, empower women to negotiate for equal pay, and strengthen federal outreach, education, and enforcement efforts. The bill would also 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.

But to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act this year, we need your help. With your donation, we will be able to send messages from MomsRising members to every member of Congress and the President, organize volunteers to make phone calls on supporting the Paycheck Fairness Act to Senators, and collect and distribute to legislators and the media the stories of women who have received lower pay for equal work.  In short, we'll bring a wave of voices from around the country to our leaders in our nation's capitol so they won't be able to forget that real women are still making significantly less than equally qualified men. Please act now to help us translate this promise of equal pay for women into a reality!

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