We must work to get equal pay for women

Published 11:40 pm Friday, April 15, 2016

By Terri Sewell

Sewell represents Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.

When women succeed, America succeeds. Women have to work three months into the New Year to make what men made the previous year.

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It is unacceptable that in this modern society, women do not receive equal pay for equal work. Women currently make 79 cents for every dollar men make for equal work.

There are real consequences for not only women, but families and the economy as a whole when this kind of inequality exists.

The current data and statistics surrounding this injustice make a loud and clear statement — America suffers when women suffer.

“We are grateful for the progress of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act signed into law by President Obama which helped us to move towards the goal of fair wages for women; however, the current data reveals an ongoing problem.

The wage gap is even more severe for women of color with African American women only earning 60 cents and Hispanic women 54 cents for every dollar men earn.

If this social inequality continues, women will not receive fairness through equal pay until 2058. Congress could pass the Paycheck Fairness Act as a major step towards closing the gap.

This piece of legislation cosponsored by all House Democrats would help to close loopholes in the 1963 Equal Pay Act and provide proper remedies for women who do not receive equal pay for equal work.

Closing the wage gap between men and women for equal work is not a partisan issue but rather a national issue.

The House Republicans have blocked the Paycheck Fairness Act from being considered on the House Floor nine times since 2013.

This continued denial of fairness to working women must stop. If a man works and earns a dollar, fairness requires a woman to receive a dollar and not 79 cents for doing the same work.