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Women’s Equality Day: Cheer for Equal Pay and Rights for Women

Introduction to Women’s Equality day

The National Woman’s Party created women’s equality day, and it has been observed on August 26 since 1987. It is not a federal holiday, but many companies observe the day as such. The resolution for this day was passed unanimously in Congress on September 23rd of 1985. On average, women earn about 79 cents for every dollar earned by men doing similar work–even though they make up 45% of all workers in America today!

This means that we have a long way to go before true equality can be reached. Nowadays, one of the most important things you can do to help end wage discrimination for women (and people of color) is to get your free credit report. It is an important first step to protect your right to fair pay and equal opportunity in the workplace!

Women's Equality Day

Women’s equality day is one of contemplation

About how far women have come and what still needs to be done. Many people will spend time reflecting on their own interactions and experiences with women in roles traditionally held by men, such as doctor or teacher. Women are believed not to have the same rights as men, so it is seen as a day for activism against sexism.

  • Goals can range from developing new opportunities for education to teach young girls about their bodies, demanding fair wages for female workers and more equitable leadership opportunities for female community members.
  • According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women make up nearly half of the total workforce in the United States. In 2012, they were 47% of employed people aged 16 and over. But–despite being almost half of the labor force–they only earned 82% as much as a man (whose median weekly earnings for full-time work was $895).
  • The average Hispanic or Latina woman makes just 53 cents for every dollar a white male earns! We have a long way to go before true wage equality can be achieved.

What is wage discrimination?

Wage discrimination is defined by one group having more power than another in salary negotiations regarding jobs and employment positions. This means that employees are paid differently when they are doing the same job, and it means that people of color tend to have less power than their white counterparts.

Wage discrimination is not necessarily always “intentional.” In most cases, wage discrimination can be attributed to several factors–including educational background, experience level, negotiation skills, and sheer luck. Women, in general, face many more forms of wage discrimination than men do; this ranges from lower starting salaries to reduced opportunities for promotional positions. The following statistics illustrate just how far women had come since 1963 when President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law:

  • In 2010, female full-time workers made only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men working full time.
  • Women were also more likely than men to work part-time. More than 25 percent of women worked part-time in 2010, versus just 13 percent of men.
  • In 2010, more than four in ten mothers with children under 18 were breadwinners for their families–meaning that they provided at least 50% of the family’s income.
  • In married-couple families, only about one in five mothers (21%) were breadwinners.

When you think about it, many of these wage disparities are not surprising since wage discrimination is still prevalent today. The wage gap between genders and races became even wider as our economy worsened. According to the ‘U.S. Census Bureau,’ Hispanic or Latina women made only 54 cents for every dollar earned by a white non-Hispanic man in 2010, while African American women only made 64 cents.

Asian or Pacific Islander women made 85 cents for every dollar a white male earned. One of the biggest problems is that this problem has no quick fix; many steps can help close the gap and promote equal pay between men and women. Some people recognize these disparities, but others do not want to believe they exist, so we have a lot more work left to do.


What your compensation rights are

The Equal Pay Act (EPA) of 1963 makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against you because of your sex when it comes to their payment practices: If you perform ‘equal work,’ your employer must pay you equally if you are working in the same place and doing jobs that require ‘equal skill, effort, and responsibility.

The Civil Rights Act of 1991 (CRA) makes it illegal for an employer to discriminate against you because of your age if you are over 40 years old.

Although President Kennedy approved the Equal Pay Act back in 1963, wage discrimination continues today; women make less than men across all industries. Hispanic and African-American women face even greater disparities.

Some people may argue that these differences are simply a result of women’s “choices;” however, there are many factors involved with why more men tend to be employed full time while more women work part-time at lower-paying jobs.

For example, some bosses have been known to pass over hiring women for certain positions because they have children and are assumed to be unreliable.

So how do we ensure that federal laws are enforced? The strength of the union is what helps protect employees from wage discrimination and other legal issues. If you believe you have been discriminated against at work based on sex, age or race, please refer to your employee handbook or contact your union representative immediately.


Women’s Equality Day is an awareness day. It was designated on Aug 26th, 2017, to commemorate some milestones in the women’s suffrage movement that occurred this day in 1920. The date was chosen to reference the passage of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

#Women’s Equality Day isn’t just a celebration: it’s also an opportunity to call for more progress in the fight for gender equality. We aim to use this campaign at least four times in 2018 and 2019:  August 26 (the anniversary of women gaining suffrage), September 17 (International Peace Day), December 2nd (Human Rights Day), and November 25th, which will mark 100 years since some women were given the right to vote in New Zealand.

#People use these campaigns to lead global awareness campaigns, communicate the work of our members and partners and motivate people to take action.  We encourage everyone who stands for equality to join us in celebration, call for progress and take action on Women’s Equality Day.

This March 8th is International Women’s Day. But what if you feel like celebrating the day a bit more because you have some free time? Or maybe you don’t want this holiday to go by without throwing a party or two… but then it got stuck in your head that if you decide to do so, it somehow should be related to feminism or women’s rights and not some random book club gathering. And then again, there are many random things linked to feminism and women’s rights all over the Internet.

Viable Outreach | Activism for the 99%