Wasserman Schultz Statement on Equal Pay Day

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Washington, DC, April 4, 2017 | comments
Today is Equal Pay Day, one of the most disturbing dates on the calendar. It marks just how far into the next year that a woman has to work in order to earn the same wages a man earned in the previous year. That disparity is now 80 cents on the dollar, which means it took 94 days to reach this point. For women of color, the gap is even wider, with African-American women earning an average of 63 cents, and Hispanic women making 54 cents compared to white men.
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U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement on Equal Pay Day, which marks how far into 2017 that the average woman must work just to earn the same wages the average man earned in 2016:

“Today is Equal Pay Day, one of the most disturbing dates on the calendar. It marks just how far into the next year that a woman has to work in order to earn the same wages a man earned in the previous year. That disparity is now 80 cents on the dollar, which means it took 94 days to reach this point.  For women of color, the gap is even wider, with African-American women earning an average of 63 cents, and Hispanic women making 54 cents compared to white men.

This gap is a national embarrassment.  It not only affects women – it affects  the whole economy because American women are the sole or co-breadwinner in two thirds of all the families with children.  When women’s wages are depressed, families can’t adequately pay for groceries, rent, utilities, health care and child care.

Worse, the lost wages compound throughout a woman’s life, totaling an average of $418,000 by retirement. That’s the equivalent of a home mortgage, or college tuition for a family’s children. And this same disparity chases behind women into retirement, too, since they receive less Social Security or retirement payouts due to a lifetime of depressed wages.

But there is a way to address this inequity. Democrats are calling upon Congressional Republicans to work across the aisle for every woman in this country by passing the long-overdue Paycheck Fairness Act. This law would update the Equal Pay Act of 1963, and provide effective legal remedies to the millions of women who are not being paid equal wages for the work they do that is equal to men every day. If we can wield this legislation and other political and cultural weapons against gender discrimination, some day we can retire this ugly date from our calendar.”

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Contact: David Damron at David.Damron@Mail.House.Gov or 202-906-0542

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