According to the new analysis, eliminating the national wage gap would mean that African American women and their families would have enough money for more than two years’ worth of food, 4,549 gallons of gas, more than 16 months of rent, almost 10 months’ worth of mortgage and utilities payments, or more than three years of family health insurance premiums. The loss of these basic necessities can be especially punishing during tough economic times, and it adds up over a lifetime.
The Paycheck Fairness Act would close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and establish stronger workplace protections for women. The U.S. House of Representatives passed it in 2009, and it came two votes short of moving forward in the Senate in 2010. Its introduction in the 113th Congress is expected early this year.
“Make no mistake about it, lawmakers have the power to help close this gap and promote economic security for women and families in their districts,” Ness continued. “Lawmakers who are serious about rebuilding our economy and valuing families will work to address discrimination and the punishing wag gap that results. Hardworking women deserve to be paid fairly no matter where they live or their race. By overwhelming majorities, Americans know this and support federal action. It’s time for Congress to act.”
The National Partnership’s findings for the 20 states with the largest numbers of employed African American women and Latinas can be found at www.NationalPartnership.org/AAGap and www.NationalPartnership.org/LatinaGap. More information on the wage gap can be found at www.NationalPartnership.org/FairPay.