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If you don't agree with this statement - equal pay for equal work - please use the email below to write and tell me why.
I'm serious ... if you don't believe that women deserve the same pay that men receive for doing the same work, then I need to know why. Because I know some people still don't - some employers, some people in government, and even some elected officials.
Wage inequality is an issue around the world that women - like me - and women's rights advocates have been fighting for decades. Yet progress in the U.S. has stalled, or is moving backward. Women earn only 80 cents for every one dollar that men make. In fact, it's taken 35 years to narrow this pay gap by just 20 cents, and data shows that women lose out on $500,000 in pay during their lifetimes because of it.
In 2016, the U.S. plummeted to a distressing 45th (from a previous 20th) ranking out of 144 countries on the World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap index. This disparity is nationwide: Women earn less than men in the same jobs in every state in the country, according to an analysis by WalletHub that compared all 50 states.
Colorado, despite tied for 1st place in smallest gap in educational attainment, based on bachelor's degrees earned, is 40th in overall rank for gender equality. Our workplace environment rank is even worse-47th out of 50 states, as determined by factors such as higher-income disparity, overall income disparity, and disparity in the average number of full-time work hours.
Last Saturday was officially Women's Equality Day, a celebration of the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the Constitution that granted some women the right to vote. In 1971, Congress officially designated August 26 as "Women's Equality Day" in a joint resolution that proclaimed, in part:
"Whereas, the women of the United States have been treated as second-class citizens and have not been granted the full rights and privileges, public or private, legal or institutional, which are made available to the male citizens of the United States; and,
"Whereas, the women of the United States have united to assure that these rights and privileges are available to all citizens equally regardless of sex ...
"Now, therefore, be it resolved, the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, that August 26th of each year is designated as Women's Equality Day ... in commemoration of that day in 1920, on which the women of America were first given the right to vote, and that day in 1970, on which a nationwide demonstration for women's rights took place."
In the words of Abigail Adams, wife of second U.S. president, John Adams, in the last half of the 17th century, "If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation."
For the life of me, I can't understand why anyone today - especially in an American society that claims to be advanced and enlightened - why anyone would not believe that women and men are equal ... in fact, would not believe that all people, regardless of gender, race, faith, or sexual orientation, are equal.
Andrea Doray is a writer who reminds us that Abigail admonished husband John during the Continental Congress in 1776: "Remember the Ladies, and be more generous and favourable to them than your ancestors." Contact Andrea at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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