Even before the first Equal Pay Day started in 1996, in 1963 the nation made it a matter of Federal Law that there must be equal pay for equal work, and yet that law has still not changed enough and women are still not receiving equal pay for equal work.
“Did you know according to the Shriver Report, the average woman continues to be paid 77 cents for every dollar the average man earns, and that the average African American woman earns only 64 cents and the average Latina only 55 cents compared to white men?” Portia Williams, the President of Portsmouth Business and Professional Women(BPW), posted on her Facebook page and she asked that women join her and her Vice President Flowie Hale, President-Elect and other BPW members when they were in the Courthouse in Portsmouth last week, to support all of the Equal Pay Day Women on April 2. The date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.
Williams, Hale, Shelby Powell and Annita Thompson were, for the fourth year in a row, at the Scioto County Courthouse promoting Equal Pay Day for women. They were also passing out a baggy containing a PayDay candy bar, a packet of Equal, and a paper titled Equal PayDay. This was the fourth year local women have done this, Powell said. She said they do this to raise awareness for women in the workplace.
The Equal Pay Act of 1963 is a United States labor law amending the Fair Labor Standards Act, aimed at abolishing wage disparity based on sex. It was signed into law on June 10, 1963, by John F. Kennedy as part of his New Frontier Program.
Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages.
Powell WNXT Community Corner, on Gina D. Collinsworth’s Community Corner’s Hometown Morning Radio Show to promote and support women in the workplace, including raising awareness for equal pay for women. She shared the fact that women work for 12 months plus four more, to make the same amount as a man will make in just 12 months doing the same job. Shelby has been passionate about raising awareness and supports this cause every year.
Since Census statistics showing the latest wage figures will not be available until late August or September, NCPE leadership decided years ago to select a Tuesday in April as Equal Pay Day. (Tuesday was selected to represent how far into the next work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week.) The date also is selected to avoid religious holidays and other significant events. Because women earn less, on average than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. The wage gap is even greater for most women of color.
These local women representing the women of our community are just a small group, among the many across the nation, that strongly feel this equal pay situation is far behind in what should have already been reached by now. This event has happened each year and will continue to do so until something changes across the country, according to the group.
Reach Kimberly Jenkins (740) 353-3101 ext. 1928