On Moms' Equal Pay Day, We Honor and Demand Action for Black Moms, Who Experience Multiple Forms of Oppression Inside and Outside the Workplace
“This Moms' Equal Pay Day, we especially want to explicitly and clearly focus on the fact that Black moms and women are especially vulnerable to pay discrimination, as well as to the health and economic harms that COVID-19 is causing. We hold many of the frontline jobs that have kept this country going during the pandemic, even as it is taking a disproportionate and deadly toll on our community. At the same time, we are leading much of the organizing against police violence and racism that is essential to building a safe future for our children.
“We do this at a time when due to systemic racism and sexism, some 1.4 million family households headed by Black women live in poverty, when Black women are paid an estimated $946,120 less than White men over the course of a 40-year career. And for Black moms, the disparities are even greater than for Black women overall.
“It’s time to finally end the discrimination and bias that pervade our workplaces and streets, and that undermine the stability of Black families. We are demanding that Congress, state lawmakers, corporate leaders and others take action to promote justice in the ways the Movement for Black Lives has articulated for its Week of Action, and end the pay discrimination that undermines the economic security of so many families.”
-Statement of Monifa Bandele, senior vice president, MomsRising
“Each year in this country we recognize a series of Equal Pay Days – for women generally, women of diverse races, moms, and others. Each is a measure of how far we have to go in order to make wages fair and equal.
“This year, Moms' Equal Pay Day comes at a moment when the country is rising up against the police terror that has taken too many lives and is putting the racism that pervades our society in stark relief. The moms’ wage gap is one more manifestation of structural racism, measured by this Moms' Equal Pay Day, which is how long America’s moms, across race and ethnicity, had to work in 2020 to match the wages dads were paid in 2019 alone. Overall, moms in this country are paid just 70 cents for every dollar paid to dads. The disparity is much greater for moms of color. For every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic dads in this country, Black moms are paid just 50¢, Latina moms 45¢, Native moms 47¢, White moms 69¢, and Asian-American Pacific Islander moms 89¢.
“This wage discrimination further disproportionately harms Black mothers. With police violence and anti-Black racism taking the lives of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, Tony McDade, and Nina Pop, and too many others to name in this limited space, we cannot ignore the ways police violence, mass incarceration, and transphobia also disproportionately harm Black women and their families.
“Structural racism is the reason moms of color face much larger wage gaps. It must stop. Racial justice, gender justice, and economic justice must be intertwined -- and the intense wage gap that moms of color face, particularly Black moms, is devastating evidence of how far we still have to go in our nation to reach equity. The members of MomsRising are committed to working to end structural racism in all forms and to advancing justice on all fronts.
“The status quo simply cannot continue. Black women and moms must get equal pay, be able to live without fear that their families will experience violence at the hands of those job it is to protect, and for lawmakers to ensure Black women and moms can live without experiencing bias and discrimination.”
-Statement of Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, executive director and CEO, MomsRising
“In the United States today, being a mom is a greater predictor of wage discrimination than being a woman, and wage discrimination against Black, Latina, and Native moms is especially severe. While women face wage and hiring discrimination the moment they become mothers, men tend to get wage boosts when they become fathers. The wage gap facing Black moms makes it even harder for them to afford the housing, heat, health care, food, childcare and education they need, and Black families face many other forms of racism that undermine their economic security, especially during the pandemic.
“Congress must act. The Equal Pay Act is outdated and moms of color are suffering tremendously. The U.S. House did its job by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act last year, which would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act. The U.S. Senate must pass this legislation as well. We demand that Congress also pass the HEROES Act, the PAID LEAVE Act, the FAMILY (Family and Medical Insurance Leave) Act, the Healthy Families Act, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and the Raise the Wage Act, as well as making a significant investment to stabilize and support our child care system. America’s moms won’t stop fighting until equal pay is a reality for everyone.”
-Statement of Ruth Martin, senior vice president and chief workplace justice officer, MomsRising