April 8, Equal Pay Day, marks the extra days into the new year a woman would have to work to earn as much as a man. Congresswoman Susan Davis has been working to close the wage gap that still exists between women and men, while President Obama took executive action to close the gap.
“When women succeed, America succeeds,” said Rep. Davis, a senior member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. “Equal pay is not just a women’s issue – it’s also a family issue. Families increasingly rely on women’s wages to make ends meet. Equal Pay Day should be a reminder to everyone that in order to strengthen the middle class we need to ensure fairness in America.”
Davis is fighting for the enactment of the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 377), which would provide a much-needed update of the Equal Pay Act by providing effective remedies to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work. Along with cosponsoring the bill, Davis signed a petition to demand a vote on H. R. 377 in the House.
The enactment of the Equal Pay Act by President Kennedy established the principle of equal pay for equal work. Yet, 50 years later, the Equal Pay Act has not been updated or strengthened and women still only earn on average 77 cents on the dollar to men.
African-American women earn even less at 67 cents compared to men. The wage gap grows even larger for Latina women who earn just 60 cents on the dollar to men.
For Equal Pay Day, the President took an historic step toward closing the pay gap by signing two executive orders to make it easier for women to determine whether they are being underpaid compared to their male counterparts.