Equal Pay Day, the symbolic day where women’s earnings “catch up” to men’s from the year before, is April 14.
Idaho ranks in the bottom six states for wage equality. Idaho women working full time earn about 76 cents for each dollar that men earn, and this pay gap puts women behind for a lifetime. According to AAUW research, just one year out of college (after accounting for a number of factors), an unexplainable 7 percent gap existed.
Wage inequity affects not just women, but also the families that rely on their income to make ends meet. Recent research has found that 40 percent of households with children include a mother who is either the sole or primary earner for her family.
Pay discrimination also limits women’s life choices and has real short- and long-term consequences. It impacts the ability of women and families to buy homes and pay for college educations, and limits total lifetime earnings, savings and benefits, which make women more vulnerable to poverty in retirement.
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It is time for Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which failed last year on a party-line vote. Urge your elected officials to support this legislation.
Kathy Haley, Boise