It's Another Kind of Equal Pay Day

Time to close the gap.

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This year's Equal Pay Day (opens in new tab) was April 7, symbolizing how far into 2013 women had to work to earn what men earned the previous year. But that's not quite the same for African American women, who face wage gaps that are substantially wider than for women overall. Their Equal Pay Day is today.

Women working full time, year round typically make only 77 cents to each dollar their male counterparts make — for African-American women compared to white men, this figure is 64 cents. 9to5 (opens in new tab) — one of the largest national organizations in its 40th year of working women in the U.S. — is joining partner organizations to recognize African American Women's Equal Pay Day. The National Executive Director, Linda Meric, wrote a Huffington Post (opens in new tab) blog post calling attention to the large pay discrepency (opens in new tab) at hand.

She called out ways that our country can better recognize and value the work (opens in new tab) of African American women. We can raise the minimum wage. Congress (opens in new tab) can pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. We can build support for the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act (FAMILY), which would allow working (opens in new tab) people to take paid time off to care for a new child (opens in new tab), sick family member, or their own illness. Meric also said that we need to pass the Healthy Families Act, which would require more jobs to offer earned sick days. "Working moms carry the brunt of financial distress when they need time to take care of a sick child, and are often at risk of losing employment when caring for an ill family member," Meric wrote.

It's also important to note that the point of equal pay (opens in new tab) for Hispanic women won't be met until November. Hispanic women only make 54 cents to every dollar white man make — they have to work nearly a whole additional year (full time) to equal what white men made the previous year. Hopefully Meric and 9to5's points are taken seriously, because we really need to start changing this (opens in new tab).

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