April 04, 2017

Rep. Barbara Lee Statement on Equal Pay Day

Washington, D.C. - Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement marking April 4th as Equal Pay Day:

“Today is Equal Pay Day – the date, 94 days into 2017, when women’s wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year. Despite the fact that women make up almost half the workforce, the average woman earns only 80 cents for every dollar paid to men.

“Sadly, this wage discrimination is even more pronounced for women of color. African American women are paid only 63 cents on the dollar, and Latinas make only 54 cents. These persistent inequalities have real consequences for women and families, who see this institutional sexism in every paycheck. With the income lost due to the wage gap, women could pay for 15 months of childcare, 78 weeks of food, or 11 months of rent.

“It’s no coincidence that women are also more likely to live in poverty. Until we close the wage gap, our efforts to eliminate poverty and address income inequality will remain incomplete. I’m proud to cosponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act, which strengthens the Equal Pay Act and holds employers accountable for salary discrimination. Hardworking women deserve a Congress that recognizes equal work deserves equal pay.”