Kirsten E Gillibrand

Equal Pay Day - April 12, 2016

Kirsten E Gillibrand
April 12, 2016— Washington, D.C.
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Mr. President, after another whole year, a very unfortunate milestone has once again arrived. Today is equal pay day.

This is the day in 2016 that the average working woman after all last year, and the first 3 months of this year, finally earns as much as money as the average man did only during last year. So if you started the clock in 2015, the average woman had to work an extra 103 days, to earn the same amount of money as a man.

Imagine, two people were both hired at a company, they both work hard, and they have the same amount of experience, the same amount of qualifications. But they have one very important difference, one of those workers is a man, and the other is a woman. As a result, they will not be paid the same.

Right now, on average, for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes 79 cents. That’s the average for all women, many other groups of women have it way worse. Working mothers earn only 75 cents for every dollar working fathers make. African American women earn just 60 for every dollar a white male makes, and our Latina women have it the worst. They earn just 55 cents for every dollar a while male makes.

United States of America still doesn’t pay its men and women equally for the same exact work. That is unacceptable that in the year 2016, we are still fighting to fix this basic problem. Think about how this pay gap affects our families. More women than ever are earning their families paycheck. Four out of every 10 mothers are either the primary breadwinner of the family, or the only breadwinner in their family.

Because of this pay gap, their children are getting short changed. Mr. President, we need equal pay for equal work. It shouldn’t matter if you are a nurse, or a lawyer, or even one of the best female athletes in the world.

Just a couple of weeks ago, the women’s national soccer team filed a federal lawsuit against the US Soccer Federation over wage discrimination. I strongly support these women, and they are doing the right thing. They are raising their voices about a serious injustice. I urge all of my colleagues in this chamber to listen to these women.

Listen to the women in their states, listen to the women in this country that deserve equal pay for equal work. The women on our National Soccer Team are some of the most successful American athletes alive, and even they have to deal with this pay gap. It’s shameful, and it’s inexcusable that women are still paid less than men, for the exact same work in this country.

Mr. President, I urge everyone here to support the Paycheck Fairness Act. Let’s get with the time. Let’s finally make it illegal to pay our women less than our men, for the very same work.

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