On Tuesday, thousands of women from across the United States will join in a national day of action against unfair pay called Equal Pay Day. Locally, we will gather at the Womens Bureau, 2417 Fairfield Ave., to hear what can be done to eliminate the wage gap for women in our state. Join us at 9:30 a.m.
The Womens Bureau, American Association of University Women, YWCA and League of Women Voters encourage you to become informed about pay equity and how it affects women.
Weve created a Facebook page where you can post your observations about the wage gap. Were particularly interested in learning which companies in our area are not discriminating against women when it comes to salaries. See us at Pay Equity Fort Wayne.
April is symbolic of the point into the new year that a woman must work in order to earn the wages paid to a man in the previous year. Because women earn less, we must work longer for the same pay. The statistics are worse for minority women.
Indianas record is not good. We rank 45th in the nation for pay equity, according to the National Womens Law Centers calculations based on the 2010 American Community Survey data.
Over the course of a lifetime, this pay gap results in lost wages, reduced pensions and diminished Social Security benefits. Too many women are living in poverty. Poverty is also cited as one of the major factors of why low-income children do not do as well in school as schoolmates who come from higher-income households.
Women make up nearly half of the U.S. labor force and play a vital role in the nations economy, says Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis. While progress has been made in recent decades, the pay gap continues to disadvantage many women, with consequences not only for them, but for their families and the economy as a whole.
At a time when Americas economy is facing a downturn, every penny counts. Economist Evelyn Murphy, president and founder of The WAGE Project, estimates that the wage gap costs the average American full-time woman worker between $700,000 and $2 million over the course of her lifetime.
The National Equal Pay Task Force was created in January 2010 in response to President Obamas pledge to crack down on violations of equal-pay laws. In addition to the Labor Department, members include the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Department of Justice and the Office of Personnel Management. U.S. Department of Labor news materials are accessible at www.dol.gov. The information above is available in large print, Braille, audio tape or disc from the COAST office upon request by calling 202-693-7828 or TTY 202-693-7755.
Pay inequity affects us all. Join us at the Womens Bureau on April 17 and become educated about this issue.
Convener, Fort Wayne Area League of Women Voters