WASHINGTON – The American Association of University Women (AAUW) sharply criticized today’s procedural defeat of the Paycheck Fairness Act by a 52-47 vote in the U.S. Senate. The Senate’s rejection of the bill comes after the House of Representatives voted 233-180 against considering the Paycheck Fairness Act last week, despite widespread support of the legislation from the White House and many ordinary Americans committed to basic fairness and equality. The bill was introduced by the Senate’s trailblazing dean of women, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). The House version was introduced by longtime equal pay champion Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT).
“This was a missed opportunity for the Senate to do the right thing for women and the nation,” said AAUW Executive Director Linda D. Hallman, CAE. “When women are paid less, it hurts them and their families, and it undermines the U.S. economy. How lawmakers can turn down this commonsense economic policy is truly a mystery.”
By some estimates, women could lose up to $1 million over a 40-year career because of the pay gap. In higher-paying fields such as law, the disparity can result in even greater lifetime losses. Individual choices can affect the gender pay gap, but these choices are not the whole story — and, of course, these “choices” themselves are constrained by stereotype and discrimination. AAUW’s report Behind the Pay Gap controlled for factors known to affect earnings such as education and training, parenthood, and hours worked and found that college-educated women still earn less than men — despite having the same major and occupation as their male counterparts.
“Equal pay should not be a partisan issue. In fact, before the Senate took up the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2010, equal pay was something on which we could all agree. Previous bills brought to the floor with the goal of equal pay for equal work passed with bipartisan votes — until now.” said Lisa Maatz, AAUW director of public policy and government relations. “Women feel the sting of unfair pay all the time — at the grocery store, at the gas station, and in retirement. This isn’t political to them; it’s just common sense. And it’s that kind of kitchen-table economics that women will take with them to the polls in November.”
The Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 3220) would have deterred wage discrimination by closing loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and barring retaliation against workers who disclose their wages to co-workers. Currently, employers can penalize and even fire employees for talking about their salaries.
As fair pay icon Lilly Ledbetter said on AAUW Dialog, “Giving women my Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act without the Paycheck Fairness Act is like giving them a nail without the hammer.”
AAUW is widely credited with keeping pay equity on the nation’s radar. Behind the Pay Gap redefined the debate on pay equity and reenergized the drive to pass needed pay equity legislation. This leadership helped to set the stage for the adoption of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in January 2009, the first major piece of legislation signed into law by President Barack Obama.
It is never too early to start dreaming about our annual used book sale. This year we’ll see you September 20, 21 and 22 at the Dearborn Ice Skating Center on the north side of Ford Road just east of Greenfield. Meanwhile keep in mind what Ray Bradbury says about the sensual delight of holding an actual book in your hands as opposed to an e-reader.
“I have four daughters who have grown or are still growing from childhood through adolescence to womanhood, learning what it is to be a woman and how to make their way in a world in which many men still believe they are entitled to rule. Observing and writing about Catherine, I learned to admire her remarkable human qualities — her intelligence, courage, perseverance, humor, wit, resourcefulness, lack of pretension. Over time, I have come to see her as a model — in some, if not all respects — for girls and women of all ages.”
–Robert K. Massie, author of Catherine the Great: Portrait of a Woman
Fascinated by writers, she wrote hundreds of letters to the philosophers and authors of her time. Here are a few of her pithy observations:
In my position you have to read when you want to write and to talk when you would like to read.
I am one of the people who love the why of things.
I beg you take courage; the brave soul can mend even disaster.
I like to praise and reward loudly, to blame quietly.
In politics a capable ruler must be guided by circumstances, conjectures and conjunctions.
Power without a nation’s confidence is nothing.
Men make love more intensely at twenty, but make love better, however, at thirty.
Your wit makes others witty.
The National Women’s Political Caucus (NWPC) is a multicultural, inter-generational, grassroots organization dedicated to increasing women’s participation in the political process and creating a power base to achieve equality for all women. The Caucus offers campaign training for candidates and campaign managers, as well as technical assistance and donations. State-and-local chapters support candidates running for office by raising money and providing volunteer assistance.
Without the Equal Rights Amendment can there be enforcement of equity for women in wages, pension, social security and health care?
The fight for women’s rights is about equal rights for everyone!
Therefore, NWPC has created a video to energize a sense of righteousness among young women who may know little or nothing of the issues around equity.
Visit it at: