On Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, Let’s Resolve to Finally Close the Wage Gap that Punishes Black Women and the Structural Racism and Sexism that Drive It
“The wage gap -- now just 63 cents paid to Black women for every dollar paid to white men -- continues to take a devastating toll on Black communities. We cannot have a just recovery from the pandemic unless we close it and end the many forms of discrimination and oppression that Black women continue to face. The wage gap is even more damaging for Black moms, who are paid just 52 cents on the dollar compared to white dads. No one should ever be shortchanged on her paycheck because of her gender or race, but due to compounded structural racism and sexism, that is the reality Black women face. This shameful wage gap must end.
“Black women are more likely to serve in the front line positions that have kept our country running during the pandemic, even as they face oppression in our economy, in the criminal justice system and in health care. That’s unacceptable. To truly ‘build back better,’ Congress must take bold action to close the wage gap and end the systemic racism and sexism that harms children, families, communities and our economy.”
-Statement of Monifa Bandele, Senior Advisor, MomsRising
“On average, Black women will lose nearly $1 million dollars over a 40-year career to the wage gap -- a staggering loss that makes it harder for Black families to put food on the table, pay for child care, education, and health care, save for emergencies and for retirement, and more. Black women should not have to work 20 months to be paid what white men are paid in 12. Wage discrimination forces families into poverty, and it has made it even harder for Black women to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had an outsized impact on Black women’s financial security.
“The time for action is now. The U.S. Senate must join the U.S. House in passing the Paycheck Fairness Act to promote pay transparency and increase penalties for wage discrimination. It’s also past time to give minimum wage workers and tipped workers, who are disproportionately Black women, a long-overdue raise to $15 an hour. Finally, we must build a care infrastructure and an economy that works for working moms, and that includes paid family and medical leave, universal child care, and a permanent expansion of the Child Tax Credit.
“We will not stop fighting until the wage gap is closed and all families can thrive.”
-Statement of Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director and CEO, MomsRising