Congresswoman Lee Calls for Pro-Women, Pro-Family Policies on Equal Pay Day

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee released this statement marking Equal Pay Day. This day symbolizes when the average woman’s paycheck finally catches up to men’s paychecks from the previous year:

“In 2016, equal pay for equal work should be the reality. Yet, millions of hardworking women continue to experience institutionalized sexism with every paycheck.

On average, for every dollar that a man earns, women earn just 79 cents. For women of color, the situation is even worse. On average, African-American women earn just 60 cents on the dollar and Latinas earn a mere 55 cents for every dollar paid to white men.

Pay inequity doesn’t just hurt women, it hurts families and our economy. When women are underpaid, families have less for everyday essentials. With the pay lost because of the wage gap, the average woman could buy 83 weeks of groceries.

This is just wrong. In 2016, the wage gap belongs in history books, not paychecks.

I am proud to be working with my colleagues to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act because women should be able to fight paycheck discrimination without fear of retaliation.

As we pause to highlight this injustice, I strongly urge all of my colleagues to do the right thing and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.


Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.