Observance of Equal Pay Day

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Observance of Equal Pay Day
by Jackie Speier

Observance of Equal Pay Day



Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ms. SPEIER. Madam Speaker, today, as we observe Equal Pay Day, I rise with my colleagues and professional women everywhere to say: Women are the face of pay equity.

The Census Bureau reports that, on average, a woman earns 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man. More simply, I would have been working since the beginning of the year to earn the same annual salary as a man who started today, April 22.

Equal pay is not solely a women's issue, it's a family issue; when women aren't paid equally, their families pay the price. There are long-term consequences too: lower pay means less Social Security and less saved for retirement.

We have talked for years about closing the wage gap, now we must act. Today I was added as the 227th cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, joining more than half of this body who believes it is time to eliminate gender-based wage discrimination once and for all.

Congresswoman DeLauro's bill, which she has introduced for the last eight years, strengthens enforcement of the Equal Pay Act while providing businesses with training and resources to ensure they're in compliance.

Madam Speaker, since the Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963, we have made great strides. Wages for women are up, and the pay gap has narrowed, but the gap is still far too wide, and women and their families are paying a terrible price.

This is my first year, and my first Equal Pay Day, as a member of this House. I genuinely look forward to a time when I don't need to remind Americans that Women are the face of pay equity.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).