Two prominent Republicans spotlighted the negative headwinds for women’s pay parity, just days before the annual observation of Equal Pay Day on April. 17.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is facing a recall election this year, signed legislation on April 5 repealing the 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act.
Mitt Romney’s aides, meanwhile, had to tell a reporter, “We’ll get back to you on that” on April 11 when asked about the candidate’s stance on the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which clarifies that the six-month statute of limitations in pay discrimination cases begins with the most recent discriminatory paycheck. It was the first bill that President Obama signed into law. The Romney campaign clarified later on April 11 that he “is not looking to change current law.” But it still left the candidate looking out of touch.
Equal Pay Day has been celebrated on April 17 to mark the date when women’s earnings — about 77 percent of men’s earnings in 2010, according to the U.S. Census Bureau – catch up with those of a man in the year past.
For instance, if a man makes $40,000 in 2011, a woman making 77 percent of that earns $30,800, about $592 per week. For her to reach $40,000, she will need to earn an additional $9,200 in 2012, which would take her about 15.5 weeks — bringing us to April 17.
The pay gap has been holding fairly steady for several years.
Here are a few ways to think about the pay gap and take action:
- State-by-state equal pay rankings
- Impact of birth control on wage gap
- How the U.S. gap compares to other countries
- Two reports (here and here) on how guaranteed family and medical leave can shrink the gap
- A guide to help you advocate for equal pay
- Humorous tips for earning as much as men
- Sign a petition to draft and pass The Salary Disclosure to Promote Equality Act