Newsletter for the Danbury Area Branch of American Association of University Women.
President’s Message from Julia P. Horne
Over the past two or three months, I have been visiting AAUW National’s website (www.aauw.org). After reading about all of the wonderful initiatives that AAUW puts forward, I am so thankful that we have an organization that empowers ALL women and I am pleased that I am a member. If you get a chance in your free time, I hope you will be able to peruse the website and become as enthralled as I am with this great organization.
April 12 is Equal Pay Day. This date symbolizes how far into the future women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages. Our national website states:
The gender pay gap is a primary issue for AAUW, and one that we have been working on for years. As early as 1922, AAUW’s legislative program called for a reclassification of the U.S. Civil Service and repeal of salary restrictions in the Women’s Bureau. In 1955, AAUW supported a bill introduced by Reps. Edith Green (D-OR) and Edith Rogers (R-MA) requiring “equal pay for work of comparable value requiring comparable skills.” Congress finally enacted the Equal Pay Act …in 1963.
Despite the Equal Pay Act, the wage gap persists; women are typically paid just 79 cents on average for every dollar paid to men – and that number has barely budged in a decade. Although enforcement of the Equal Pay Act and other civil rights laws has helped to narrow the wage gap, significant disparities still must be addressed. To improve the scope of the Equal Pay Act, AAUW advocates passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. This would give employers stronger incentives to follow the law, enhance federal enforcement efforts and prohibit retaliation against workers asking about wage practices.
Think 79 cents is bad? The pay gap is even worse for women of color. AAUW also observes Asian American Women’s Equal Pay Day in March, African American Women’s Equal Pay Day in August, Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day in September and Latina Equal Pay Day in October.