For much too long women have not earned the same amount of money that men have earned for the very same job. In 1963 President. Kennedy signed a bill which was supposed to end the pay unfairness but for the next 50 years or so it continued. And it still continues to this day even though the first bill that President. Obama signed in 2009 was the so-called Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act making gender pay discrimination again illegal. Marking the 50th anniversary of the 1963 bill's passage, Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi recently said,"Never could we have expected that 50 years later we would still be fighting the same fight." Congresswoman Rosa De Lauro, a Connecticut Democrat, has introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act 16 times in eight consecutive Congresses. The legislation seeks to close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act by allowing employees to share salary information with coworkers, prohibiting employer retaliation, and requiring employers to demonstrate that disparities in pay between male and female colleagues resulted from seniority, productivity, or merit. Not gender.
When the PayCheck Fairness Act came up to vote in the Senate in June 2012 it felt short once again. All Republicans opposed the bill including female Senators Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, both Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe of Maine, and Kay Bailey Hutchinson of Texas as well as Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.
When President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act on June 10, 1963 women made up only one third of the national workforce and earned 59 cents for every dollar a man earned. According to Census Bureau data in 2013 women earned 77 cents to every man's dollar.
As the nation's population grows and includes more and more minorities so does its work force and the wage gap widens. African American women and Hispanic women earn 55 cents. "When more women are bringing home the bacon, they shouldn't be getting just a little bit of bacon." President Obama said, citing a new study by two research companies which showed a record 40 of all households are supported primarily or completely by working mothers, up from 11 in 1960. "If they are bringing home more income and their income is less than the fair share, that means families have less to get by on." President Obama said. In the Sate of the Union speech he talked about his administration's efforts towards ending the pay equality including signing the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and creating the White House Council on Women and Girls aimed at closing the wage gap.
"Over the course of her career a working woman with a college degree will earn on average hundreds of thousands of dollars less than a man who does the same work," the President reported recently. "Now that's simply wrong. I don't want it for Molly or Sasha. I don't want it for your daughters. I don't want that to be an example that any child growing up and accepting, is somehow the norm. I want every child to grow up knowing that a woman's hard work is valued and rewarded just as much is any man's."
I, and many other fathers, support his position completely. I add also that for my six children, four of whom are women, support President Obama, and I'm also certain that as eight of my 16 grandchildren who are girls learn more, and as they grow older they will also feel the same way.
Our opinions of our politicians is that in all time low. A recent poll indicated only 9 percent of Americans approve their performance. I offer you words of Lily Tomlin,the comedian, which probably comes close to echoing our disgust for our current members of Congress when she wrote," 98 percent of the adults in this country are decent, hard-working, honest Americans. It is the other lousy 2 percent they get all the publicity. But then we elected them."
Hal Debona is a resident of Dorset.