In 2008, as one of his first acts in office, President Obama signed into law the Lilly Ledbetter Act, allowing women the right to seek legal action against an employer should they feel their wages are the product of discrimination. While this is undoubtedly a step in the right direction for female wage equality, the act also recognizes that such disparities and imbalances exist in a country in which we pride ourselves on being fair and balanced.
Yesterday, April 17th, was National Equal Pay Day.
National Equal Pay Day marks the day of the new year that a woman must work until she reaches the same salary that a man received in the previous year. Women currently receive only 77 cents to every dollar that a man in the same field and position receives. As a female coming through the education system, I am continuously baffled by this oversight in gender equality. I pay the same amount as my male peers for my education. I work just as hard, if not harder than they do. And I can’t imagine that I will slack in my duties once I join the work force — certainly not when I plan to work in the male-dominated political world. And yet, I am expected to become resigned to the fact that I am unlikely to ever be worth as much.
That’s approximately 75 working days.
Approximately 600 working hours.
Six hundred hours. That’s the equivalent of 25 full days. What could you accomplish in 600 hours? I suppose I’ll never know. I’ll need those hours to ensure that myself and my future family are provided for.
So, on April 17th, we stand up for our rights — not something controversial or part aligned.
UFCD Women’s Caucus Co-Chair