Equal Pay Day – the symbolic day in 2016 when women’s earnings finally catch up to men’s earnings from 2016 – takes place next Tuesday, April 25. Yes, it’s true that more than fifty three years after passage of the Equal Pay Act and eight years after passage of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, we are still fighting to close the gender pay gap.
That’s why it is important for us to push our lawmakers at the federal and state levels to pass equal pay legislation.
Urge your state representatives and ask your state senators to keep Michigan’s working families healthy and economically secure by passing the pay equity legislation that will be introduced this month.
The pay gap is not only a women’s issue – it’s a family issue. The economic recession that began in 2008 took a hard toll on Michigan families. Michigan experienced significant job losses and an anemic economy, and household incomes fell to historic lows. These economic circumstances led to greater reliance on women’s wages in order for families to make ends meet. Four in 10 mothers are the primary or sole breadwinner for their families, and two-thirds of mothers are the primary or co-breadwinner – yet in Michigan, the earnings of women on average are only 74 percent of men’s earnings. For African American women, it’s 65 percent, and for Hispanic women it is only 56 percent.
The consequences of the gender pay gap can be dramatic– contributing to poor living conditions, poor nutrition, and limited opportunities for children. Closing the gender pay gap and ending gender pay discrimination would dramatically improve women’s economic security. Our lawmakers can address this problem by passing this legislation this year.
Women and children serve as a barometer for the economic health of a society. Support economic security for Michigan women and families. Contact your Michigan legislators, and tell them to pass pay equity legislation