“‘Equal Pay for Equal Work’ is more than a phrase; it is an American value and a challenge that we must rise to.
“During World War II, American women worked at factories, keeping America’s economy moving while supporting the war effort. Last week, I met a California delegation of these ‘Rosie the Riveters,’ and their tenacity remains an inspiration.
“Women deserved equal pay for equal work then. They deserve it now. Significant wage discrimination persists in America today, and this is an affront to the dignity of all workers.
“The wage gap is felt, literally, at the kitchen table. If the wage gap were eliminated, a working woman in California would have enough money for approximately 59 more weeks of food for her family.
“Today, President Obama took a step forward with a policy that helps ensure federal contractors abide by equal pay laws and empowers women to learn more about pay disparities and seek out remedies.
“I am a proud supporter of the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which would dramatically shrink the wage gap and deserve a vote. This is a matter of basic economic freedom and fairness.”
Congressman Garamendi is leading a Women’s Initiative Network that is bringing together women from across the district to help solve problems that women face in the workplace. Garamendi is a strong advocate for the House Democrats’ Women’s Economic Agenda, which he spoke about on the House Floor (click here for video and here for information on the legislative agenda).
A report from the National Partnership for Women and Families found that:
- The wage gap persists regardless of industry, is present within occupations, and exists regardless of education level.
- Mothers are primary or sole breadwinners in nearly 40 percent of families, and married mothers are the primary or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of families.
- Nationally, women are paid, on average, 77 cents for every dollar paid to men.
- African American women are paid 64 cents and Latinas are paid 54 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
- In California, a woman who holds a full-time job is paid, on average, $41,956 per year while a man who holds a full-time job is paid $50,139 per year – a yearly gap of $9,183.
- In California, women are paid, 84 cents for every dollar paid to men.
- If the wage gap were eliminated, on average, a working woman in California would have enough money for approximately:
- 59 more weeks of food for her family (1.1 years’ worth);
- Four more months of mortgage and utilities payments;
- Seven more months of rent; or
- 2,103 additional gallons of gas.