This week marks the 45th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act. The act, signed into effect by President John F. Kennedy in 1963, attempted to ensure equal pay for equal work to women across the nation. Although the act helped to close the 59-100 wage disparity of the 1960s, women still only make 77 cents to every man's dollar, with an even wider gap for minority women.
"Unfortunately inequality of pay still exists," wrote DNC Chairman Howard Dean and Women’s Caucus Chair Meme Reiley in a joint statement released Wednesday. "...We have seen during this election that women still face sexism everyday, coming up against inequality whether it's in the boardroom or the classroom."
Last summer's Supreme Court decision in Lilly Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. gutted wage protections for women workers, overturning decades of precedent. The fight to reverse this decision and restore equal pay protections culminated in a Republican filibuster in the Senate in April. Senate Democrats have promised to keep trying to break the Republican filibuster.
Media Resources: Democratic National Committee 6/11/08; Hudson Valley Press 6/11/08; National Committee on Pay Equity; U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission