Today is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. It’s Past Time for Congress to Stand Up for Black Families and Help End Wage Discrimination
“Structural racism and sexism. Insufficient workplace protections. Widespread bias and discrimination. A shamefully inadequate minimum wage, Lack of paid leave, child care and inadequate investments in home- and community-based care that would allow family caregivers to return to work. And now bans on access to abortion care, while maternal morbidity rises. All of these are or will be driving factors in the disgraceful wage gap Black women face, which remains one of the widest and most damaging of any racial or ethnic group.
“In the United States today, for every dollar paid to a white man, Black women are paid just 58 cents — and Black moms are paid just 52 cents for every dollar paid to white dads. This year, the wage gap calculation includes data for part- as well as full-time workers, which is more important than ever as the pandemic has disproportionately forced moms and women of color out of full-time jobs. The wage discrimination Black women face, which persists across occupations and education levels, is extremely punitive and deeply unjust. It must end.
“No one should be shortchanged on her paycheck due to her gender or race, and these lost wages cause hardship and poverty for many hard-working Black moms – more than 80 percent of whom are breadwinners for their families. We cannot build a just society or a strong economy without addressing this longstanding problem. The time for action is now.”
– Statement of Monifa Bandele, Chief Strategy Officer, MomsRising
“Over the course of a 40-year career, Black women on average will lose nearly $1 million dollars to the wage gap. That’s unacceptable. We cannot wait any longer for our elected leaders to stand up for Black families and take action to stop wage discrimination.
“We know the policies that would help end the wage gap. The U.S. Senate must join the U.S. House in passing the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act to increase protections for workers. Congress must also codify abortion access into law and give minimum-wage workers a long-overdue raise to $15 an hour, and build the care infrastructure that would allow working families and our economy to thrive, which includes paid family and medical leave, universal child care, home- and community-based services, living wages for care workers, and a permanent expansion of the Child Tax Credit.
“We must dismantle structural racism and sexism in all their forms, wherever it occurs – in our workplaces, our health care system, our criminal justice system and elsewhere. We will continue to fight until the wage gap is finally and completely closed for Black women and all women and moms.”
– Statement of Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, Executive Director and CEO, MomsRising