The Wage Gap: Uncovering the Injustice in our Society Between Men and Women

By: Nayeli Camargo, YWCA Marketing Intern  

ImageIt’s the year 2013, and women today are still making less money than men. With the immense push for equality in this country today, everyone should be getting paid equally for the same job.  The 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was celebrated on April 9, 2013. This act states that all genders should be paid equal.

While in office, former President John F. Kennedy declared “there will be an end to the unconscionable practice of paying female employees less wages than male employees for the same job” when he signed the bill into law in 1963.

Women in the United States today are paid on average $.77 less than men. The gap is worse for minority groups such as African-American and Latina women. In today’s day and age, it’s sad to see women being paid less than a male doing the same job.

According to a new study by the National Partnership for Women and Families, “the gender-based wage gap exists in every state and in the country’s 50 largest metropolitan areas.” The biggest gap in large metropolitan areas is Los Angeles with a gap of $.92. The smallest gap between men and women is in Seattle at $.73. In Los Angles, many Hispanic and Latina women are employed, possibly accounting for the larger gap.

The U.S. Census Bureau data was the first analysis by metropolitan area to calculate the wage gap. It found that the wage gap between men and women annually is $11,084 less than men each year.

According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), “if equal pay for women were instituted immediately, across the board, it would result in an annual $319 billion gain nationally for women and their families. Over her working life, a typical woman could expect to gain a total of $210,000 in additional income if equal pay were the norm.” Today most women are the provider in their families. According to IWPR, “There are about 15.1 million families in which women are providing food to their household.”

Not only are these inequities enormous to women and their families, wage inequities follow women into their retirement years, reducing their Social Security benefits, pensions, savings and other financial resources. Women are just not losing money in their earnings, but also in other savings.

To learn more about the wage gap, visit the Institute for Women’s Policy Research at http://www.iwpr.org/.

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