Recognizing Equal Pay Day

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At The Little Market, our mission is to support dignified income opportunities for individuals in marginalized communities all over the world. A core part of our mission is to raise awareness for human rights and social justice issues. Here on Cultural Exchange, we share avenues in which our readers can use their voices and actions to help others. Today, we are recognizing Equal Pay Day.

Equal Pay Day presents the opportunity to recognize wage inequality and the advancements that are taking place to close the wage gap. It is estimated that it will take over a year for the average American woman to earn the same yearly salary compared to a man who has the same profession and qualifications. For a woman of color, the timeframe to receive an equal salary continues to widen. Wage inequality also affects transitioning, transgender, and non-gender conforming people. The Little Market recognizes Equal Pay Day, and we work with marginalized individuals around the world to support fair wages and economic advancement.

BEHIND THE NUMBERS

In the United States, a woman earns $0.80 to a dollar a white, non-Hispanic man1 earns, according to the American Association of University Women (AAUW).

Latinx women are the lowest paid women in the country, earning $0.53 to a dollar a white, non-Hispanic man2 earns, according to Forbes.

2059 is projected to be the year women will reach pay equality. Latinx women will catch up in the year 2224 and for African-American women, it will be the year 2119, according to The Institute of Women’s Policy Research.

The average earnings of male-to-female transgender workers fall by nearly 1/3 (32% decrease of salary). For transwomen of color, the income decreases even more, according to a study by B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy.

The wage gap impact on a woman’s household leads to poverty. When she earns an equal wage, not only will her living conditions improve, but her communities will as well. Examples given by The Institute of Women’s Policy Research include:

  • Poverty rates would be cut in half for women.
  • The nation’s economy will boost.
  • A higher income will lead to more opportunities in pursuing higher education and job opportunities.
  • Women with children are more vulnerable to work inequalities.
  • A woman’s income is important for economic stability as they are either considered a single-breadwinner or, in a joint income, make up 40 percent.

Why is equal pay needed?

According to Forbes, the wage gap widens as a woman ages. When a woman reaches retirement, she will be earning less than $1,000 a week.

Women with similar backgrounds as their male peers are valued less, according to AAUW. Female-dominated fields are also as unequally paid as the rest of job demographics.

There is income inequality based on the ethnicity of a woman. Women of color are the lowest paid by earning less than $0.61 to a dollar a white, non-Hispanic man3 earns, according to AAUW.

Transgender or non-binary people will either lose their job, not be considered for a higher position, or experience job bias, according to the data found by A Report of the National Transgender Discrimination Survey. This results in homelessness, living under the poverty line, seeking underground employment, and declining health. There is still a lack of research and awareness to transgender and non-binary wage inequality.

HOW WE CAN HELP

It is important to recognize the movements toward closing the gap. For example, The Paycheck Fairness Act 2019 will make provisions of the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Bringing awareness to income inequality is not only about raising wages, but also improving the quality of life. Gender should not be a reason to devalue the hard work that is put in every day. Everyone deserves the right to fair wages, a safe environment, and dignified income opportunities.

Learn more about the gender wage gap inequality:

Equal Pay Day 2019
Institute for Women’s Policy Research
What You Need To Know About Latina Equal Pay Day
6 charts that show the glaring gap between men and women’s salaries
Paycheck Fairness Act

1This is reported in accordance with categories and statistics collected by the U.S. Census Bureau.
2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.

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