Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

July-20-10

Obama Administration Announces New Programs and Action for Equal Pay

President Barack Obama Obama released a statement today outlining his support for the elimination of wage discrimination. In the President's statement, he said, "Paycheck discrimination hurts families who lose out on badly needed income. And with so many families depending on women's wages, it hurts the American economy as a whole. In difficult economic times like these, we simply cannot afford this discriminatory burden." Specifically, the President urged the Senate to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would amend the "Equal Pay Act to revise remedies for, enforcement of, and exceptions to prohibitions against sex discrimination in the payment of wages."

The President's announcement comes on the same day as the release of recommendations from the Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force to advance equal pay for women. The recommendations were released today by Vice President Joseph Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis at a large event attended by many women leaders. According to a White House press release, the Task Force's recommendations include maximizing the effectiveness of existing authorities, collecting "data on the private workforce to better understand the scope of the pay gap and target enforcement efforts," undertaking "a public education campaign to educate employers on their obligations and employees on their rights," working to make the federal government as a model employer, and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal said of the recommendations, "The White House Action led by Vice President Joe Biden is exactly what is needed to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act for women workers in the Senate before it adjourns this session." Smeal continued, "In this recession, it is very clear for most Americans a woman's paycheck is needed for the family to stay out of poverty. Women cannot continue to be shortchanged if they and the families that depend upon them are to stay in or reach the middle class."

The House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act in August, 2008, and the bill is now under consideration in the Senate. Smeal said in her statement, "The White House today is not only urging the Senate to act now, but it is also taking a historic pledge to have the federal government become a model employer on equal pay for women, and to wage a public education campaign for employers (including the federal government) to know the responsibility to end pay discrimination and for women workers to know their rights."

Women today still earn just 77 cents for every dollar men make. As Smeal said, "For feminists who have worked for equal pay for decades, at last, we are getting traction - real momentum - from the top. And we are not going to rest until equal pay for women is a reality."

Media Resources: Statement of President Obama 7/20/10; Feminist Majority Press Release 7/20/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 6/11/10; Feminist Daily Newswire 8/1/08


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska. The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services. The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge. Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska. "By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read. "We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
 
8/27/2015 Los Angeles Mayor Announces Model Gender Equity Directive - On Women's Equality Day Eric Garcetti, the Mayor of Los Angeles, signed a progressive and inclusive executive directive to take a major step toward gender equity for the city and to be a model for other cities. . . .
 
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections. This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .