Moms Leader on Asian American and Pacific Islander Equal Pay Day: ‘Our Communities Need and Deserve Fair Pay’
February 22, 2018
Today, February 22, 2018, marks Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Equal Pay Day, the day to which AAPI women need to work 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 on Asian American and Pacific Islander Equal Pay Day:
“Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women experience a damaging wage gap, earning on average of 87 cents to a white man’s dollar. Breaking down the data paints a much darker picture – many Pacific Islander and Southeast Asian women experience some of the largest wage gaps in the country, with Burmese, Samoan and Hmong workers earning less than 60 percent of the average wages of white men. AAPI mothers experience increased wage hits on top of this. This is unacceptable.
“AAPI women need and deserve fair pay. These communities are up against the ‘model minority’ myth, which pushes the detrimental and false narrative that Asian Americans are generally wealthy and successful. This disregards the diversity of AAPI communities and erases the experience of many low-income workers who don’t fit that mold. Our country must move past this myth – to do so, we need thorough research, advocacy and policies that acknowledge the diversity of needs that exist across our communities.
“It’s past time for Congress to act to end wage discrimination. While no single policy will close the wage gap, passing the Paycheck Fairness Act would be a significant step forward. This bill would provide a much-needed update to the Equal Pay Act by increasing pay transparency, banning employers from requiring applicants to disclose prior salary histories, strengthening penalties for wage discrimination and improving federal outreach, education and enforcement. Additionally, studies have shown that passing family economic security policies – like paid family leave, paid sick days, affordable child care, and a living wage – will also help close the wage gap while boosting our families and our economy.
“Across the nation, women and moms are standing up to say that enough is enough – our communities need and deserve fair pay. MomsRising’s more than 1 million members will join actions on Twitter and other social media platforms to urge immediate action to promote fair pay for all Asian American and Pacific Islander women.”