November 20th, 2010
On Wednesday, November 17, the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that pushed for the closing of the wage gap between genders, failed to pass the Senate with a vote of 58-41.
While the House of Representatives voted in favor of the act two years ago, the Senate has refused to push it through. “This was a missed opportunity to make history and jumpstart real economic change for American women and their families,” stated AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman (Equal Pay New York).
These days, with the economy being what it is, many families rely on a woman’s income just as much as a man’s; however, the average woman makes $.77 cents to the dollar that an equally educated man makes for the same work. Statistics show that the wage gap costs an average American woman $500,000-$1,000,000 over her lifetime.
The Paycheck Fairness Act, in closing the wage gap, would have not only been a watershed victory for women all over the country; it would have helped impoverished families afford the necessities of life that they deserve. With the failure of the Act, however, loopholes in the original Equal Pay Act of 1963 will still allow employers to pay their workers unfairly based on gender, race, or creed and that employees will still be intimidated by their companies into staying silent about their wages—both of which the Act sought to eliminate.
Hilda Solis, Secretary of Labor, stated that her department will “redouble its efforts to ensure America’s women are not treated as second class citizens by employers who refuse to compensate them in a fair and equitable manner.” (EPNY)
We at PeaceKeeper find the failure of the Paycheck Fairness Act unfortunate and unfair. We are thankful for the acknowledgement the Act has received and the many brave men and women who supported its passing. Hopefully one day this Act can be passed, but until then we need to be grateful for what we have and hope that things will change for women in the future.
One of these days, women will be acknowledged as equal to men in the eyes of the American government. Until then, we will continue to fight for a woman’s right to equal pay. We need to keep spreading awareness and fighting for equal pay and no discrimination!
The PeaceKeeper Team
(Writer: Renee Estey. Editor: Jessica Smith.