85 Cents is Not Enough! Asian American Equal Pay Day Is a Sobering Reminder that Wage Discrimination is Pervasive and Harmful
March 7, 2017
Today, March 7th, we mark Asian American Equal Pay Day – a day that marks how long Asian American women have to work into the new year to catch up to what White, non-hispanic men were paid, on average, last year.
Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director and CEO of MomsRising.org, a national online and on-the-ground organization of more than 1 million mothers and their families, issued the following statement for Asian American Women’s Equal Pay Day:
“Asian American and Pacific Islander women experience some of the largest and most detrimental wage gaps. While, on average, Asian American women are paid only 85 cents for every dollar paid to white men – which is outrageous– disaggregating the data paints an even more dire picture. Bhutanese, Marshallese, Burmese and other Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander women are paid less than 45 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
“The stereotype that all Asian Americans are wealthy is untrue and harmful. There is no model minority. Like all communities, Asian American/Pacific Islander women need and deserve fair pay.
“It is past time for lawmakers to address wage discrimination, which is harmful to family economic security. Congress can help close the wage gap and promote fair pay by finally passing the Paycheck Fairness Act – a much-needed update of the Equal Pay Act 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. The Paycheck Fairness Act 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.
“Studies show that passing family economic security policies – including paid family leave, affordable childcare, paid sick days and a living wage – will all help lower the wage gap. Pay transparency and non-discrimination policies help too. Momentum is growing for these policies, which together will boost our economy. To commemorate Asian American Equal Pay Day, MomsRising’s more than 1 million members will join actions on Twitter and other social media platforms to call attention to the pay gap and urge immediate action to promote fair pay for all Asian American and Pacific Islander women.”