By: Katayon Qahir
Do you know how much women earn in the United States, today, compared to men? Women in the United States today are paid on average 77 cents for every dollar paid to men and the gap is even worse for African-American and Latina women. According to a study by National Partnership For Women And Families, gender –based wage gap is in place in every state. Amazingly, every year on April 9th, Equal Pay Act of 1963 is celebrated to mark how far every year women must work to earn what men earn. The Equal Pay Act was declared by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 which indicated the end of the “unconscionable practice of paying female employee less wages than male employees for the same job”. However, looking at the wages gap today, it does not actually look like the Act achieved its goal, does it?
If the gap still exists because men are considered the primary income earner for their households, then what about single mothers? Why aren’t their issues addressed especially in the largest metropolitan areas where the wage gap is very high? In a first ever analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, by metropolitan area, it was found that the median yearly pay for women who are employed full time is $11,084 less than men’s and this greatly impact their ability to afford essentials like food, housing and gas. 50 years has passed from the existence of the Equal Pay Act, yet half a century later, on Equal Pay Day, the gender-based pay gap in America not only persists, but is doing so to a much larger degree than in many other countries.