Today is Women’s Equality Day - the day the nation celebrates the progress made in the 96 years since women won the right to vote. Not since 1920 has our progress been more apparent than it is today. Women have more freedom over if, who or when they’ll marry and if, when or how they'll bear children. Women are nearly half of the workforce, are more likely to attend college and earn professional degrees. We have growing representation in local and state government, Congress and, potentially soon, the White House.
But even as women have advanced and families have changed, our workplaces have not kept up. We all know the figure: on average, women make 79 cents for every dollar white men make, and women of color make even less. Earlier this week we commemorated Black Women’s Equal Pay Day – the day that marks when African American women finally catch up to what white men were paid the previous year– eight months later. And we won't hit Latina Equal Pay Day until November 1.
Moreover, one-fifth of women workers report that they have lost a job or were told they would lose a job for taking time off due to personal or family illness. Pregnant workers still face discrimination that threatens their health and the financial stability of their families and according to a recent survey, one in three women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace.
It's clear that we have not yet reached full equality for women.
Women's Equality Day 2016 must be then - as it has always been - not only a moment for celebration and commemoration, but also an opportunity to renew our demand for full equality for all women - in the home, in society, and in the workplace.
That’s what the Equal Pay Today! Campaign - is fighting for: Ending gender discrimination in the workplace and making sure all women are treated fairly. In addition to equal pay for equal work, the coalition is fighting to address the following issues:
As a majority of women serve as the breadwinner, co-breadwinner, or financial contributor to their families, these inequalities conspire to impede family economic security and national economic security. Moreover, they stand in the way of closing the pay gap and achieving full equality for women.
This Women’s Equality Day, we ask you to use Women’s Equality Day as an opportunity to demand that your representatives, your employer and your social network be an advocate for these issues. Join us, our members, and other women’s rights advocates on Friday, August 26 at 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET on Twitter and Facebook using the hashtags #WomensEqualityDay and #EqualPay2Day.
As we move closer to 100 years of women’s suffrage, it’s time to make equal pay – and equality overall – a reality.