ATLANTA – Congresswoman Nikema Williams (GA-05) issued the following statement marking Equal Pay Day and calling on the enactment of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Each year, Equal Pay Day symbolizes when women’s wages finally catch up to what men were paid in the previous year.
Fifty-eight years after the 1963 Equal Pay Act was enacted, the latest data show that nationwide full-time working women still earn on average only 82 cents for every dollar a man earns. This amounts to a yearly gender gap of $10,157 between full-time working men and women.
“Equal pay is not simply a women’s issue; it’s a family issue,” Congresswoman Williams said. “When women bring home less money each day, it means they have less for the everyday needs of their families.
“Women of color face an even larger wage gap. On average, Black women earn 63 cents, Native American women 60 cents and Latinas just 55 cents for every collar a white, non-Hispanic man earns.
“I came to Congress to be a force for economic justice so that everyone can share in the promise of America. That is why I strongly support the Paycheck Fairness Act, which House Democrats are moving forward in committee today. This bill modernizes and strengthens the 1963 Equal Pay Act. It bans retaliation against workers who voluntarily discuss or disclose their wages, provides effective remedies for women who are not being paid equal pay for equal work, and requires employers to prove that pay disparities exist for legitimate, job-related reasons.
“It is simply wrong that in the 21st century, women still face pay discrimination. That is why it is imperative that the House once again pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. This legislation would bring the country one step closer to finally ensuring that women receive equal pay for equal work.”