Friday, July 23, 2010

White House Backs Paycheck Fairness Act

This week, Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) and other women’s organizations met with Vice President Biden and other Administration officials about the importance of equal pay to the economic security of women and their families. Additionally, the White House hosted a call on Women and the Economy to reinforce the importance of passing the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 182 / H.R. 12) and to share steps the Administration is taking to help with work-family balance. The Paycheck Fairness Act has already passed in the House and the President and Vice President urged the Senate to pass the bill before the August recess. The legislation once made law will equip women to advocate for fair pay in the workforce without fear of retaliation.

WOW joins with the Administration in urging the Senate to pass this legislation. For too long, women have been paid less for equal work, inhibiting many of them to make ends meet and care for their families. This aggregate affect of earning less in the workforce year after year, in combination with many women leaving the workforce intermittently for caregiving responsibilities, means women, on average, earn $413,000 less than men over a 40-year career. Depending upon where you live the number can fluctuate tremendously. According to the Center for American Progress, the wage gap for a college-educated woman in Virginia is more than $1 million over a 40-year career.

Consequently, in retirement women receive less Social Security benefits and must stretch their limited income farther in late life. As the Elder Economic Security Standard™ Index (Elder Index) shows, Social Security is not enough to make it in retirement. The Paycheck Fairness Act supports women in their working years to allow them a better chance at a secure retirement.

A calendar of events, starting in mid-August, is available to help you advocate for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Let’s work together to make sure women finally receive equal pay for equal work!

-Alisha Howell
Communications & Program Coordinator
Elder Economic Security Initiative

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