On Equal Pay Day and As the COVID-19 Pandemic Continues, We Demand Policies that Close Damaging Wage Gaps and Boost Family Economic Security
“As the COVID-19 crisis shines a light on our nation’s unconscionable wealth gap, Equal Pay Day serves as a painful annual reminder of one of root causes of this inequality. In the United States today, women across all races and ethnicities are paid just 82 cents on average for every dollar paid to men. Many racial and ethnic groups face even more punitive gaps. For example, Black women are paid just 62 cents, Native American women 57 cents, and Latinas 52 cents for every dollar paid to White, non-Hispanic men. Moms are paid just 69 cents for every dollar paid to fathers. There is no justification for these gaps, and they must end.
“These shameful gaps persist across education and income levels and add up to hundreds of billions of dollars in combined lost wages each year, hurting our economy, as well as making it harder for women and their families to put food on the table, access quality health care, pay for housing, build savings, obtain education and more. This is especially true for low-wage workers, two-thirds of whom are women and who include many grocery store, health care, child care and food service workers and others. The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted how essential their work is to all of us.
“Our nation is in a crisis, and the pressure point of that crisis is coming down on women and moms—particularly moms of color, even more than in the past, because it's amplifying the cracks that were already in our system. To move toward equal pay, we demand Congress honor the value of all work by raising the minimum wage with the Raise the Wage Act and passing much-needed legislation such as the Paycheck Fairness Act and PAID Leave Act, a comprehensive emergency paid sick days and paid family and medical leave bill, as well as move forward health care and child care policies that lift us all. Updates to our outdated policies are long overdue."
-- Statement of Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director and CEO, MomsRising
“It is not a coincidence that many of the women most deeply harmed by the COVID-19 pandemic, especially women of color and low-wage and hourly workers, are also disproportionately harmed by pay inequity. These injustices result from our nation’s failure to implement basic policies that promote family economic security and protect working people from discrimination based on race, sex and other forms of systemic oppression, including ableism, transphobia, homophobia, and xenophobia.
“America’s moms demand Congress pass long overdue policies to protect families, including comprehensive paid family and medical leave and paid sick days, fair pay protections, affordable health care and child care, a higher minimum wage, and more. These policies are urgently necessary to safeguard family economic security during this crisis and beyond.”
-- Statement of Ruth Martin, senior vice president and chief workplace justice officer, MomsRising