Today is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, which means that a black woman must work until August 23, 2016, in order to earn what a white man earned in 2015. That’s almost nine extra months of hard work. Last year’s Black Women’s Equal Pay Day was actually July 28th, which shows how much black women’s pay has deteriorated in only one year. Black women are now losing $21,937 each year from being paid only 60 cents to a white man’s dollar—a truly shameful statistic.
This pay gap not only affects black women, but also their families, entire communities, and our country’s economy. We know that this is a multifaceted problem, influenced not only by discrimination on the basis of race, sex, and other factors, but also by a profound lack of support for women in the workplace, who are disproportionately more likely to be caregivers. The United States is one of only a few countries in the entire world that does not guarantee paid maternity leave. It is also shocking that in 2016, pregnant workers are still pushed out of their jobs because they need a modest accommodation to keep working and stay healthy. Both of these problems disproportionately affect women of color and other marginalized groups. The lack of legal protections, like paid family leave and fairness for pregnant workers, drags down wages for women, contributing substantially to the pay gap.
In addition to pushing for paid family leave and the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which would ensure pregnant workers are afforded fair treatment on the job, we are also fighting for stronger protections for breastfeeding mothers in the workplace, so they never have to choose between earning an income and breastfeeding their babies. This Thursday, August 25th, 2016 kicks off Black Breastfeeding Week, a week created to raise awareness about the disparity of breastfeeding rates between black women and white women. Helping nursing mothers understand and exercise their rights on the job can also help them stay attached to the workforce and prevent long-term wage penalties.
Join us and our partners as we cosponsor two events on Twitter today for Black Women’s Equal Pay Day:
- 2-3pmET Twitter Storm: National Women’s Law Center & Equal Pay Today! are hosting a Twitter Storm. Follow #BlackWomensEqualPay to join us!
- 6-8pmET Tweet Chat: 9to5 will host a twitter chat from 6-8pm. Join the conversation using the hashtag #Slay4EqualPay!