Washington, DC –
U.S. Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-MD) issued the following statement in commemoration of Equal Pay Day.
“Forty-seven years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act women are still making less than their male counterparts. In 1963, women earned 59 cents to every dollar a man earned, but we have failed to reach parity in wages. We must do better, which is why I have co-sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act, which will increase penalties for employers who pay different wages to men and women for equal work.
“Equal Pay Day originated in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages. This day is held annually in April to signify the point into the year that a woman must work to earn what a man made the previous year. It is also always held on a Tuesday to mark how far into the work week a woman must work to earn what a man earned the previous week.
In 2008, working women earn on average 23% less than their male counterparts. In other words, for every dollar earned by a man, a woman working just as hard earns only 77 cents. The disparity is greater among women of color. African American women earned 66.5 cents and Latina women earned 56.7 cents to every dollar earned by men. Gender wage discrimination has been illegal since President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963 but the wage gap continues to persist. We cannot let such mass injustice continue for another day or another decade.”