Today, Planned Parenthood Federation of America recognizes National Equal Pay Day in an effort to bring national attention to the wage gap women face all across the country. Despite the passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work, the gender gap in pay strongly persists half a century later for all women in the workforce, and especially for women of color.
White women earn about 78 cents for every dollar white men make, and that gap is wider for women of color. Black women earn about 63 cents and Latinas earn just 54 cents for every dollar earned by white men throughout our country. In all 50 states, women of color are disproportionately affected by this lifetime wage gap, earning less toward their retirement benefits, and compounding the existing inequities in access to basic necessities such as health care. Planned Parenthood is committed to breaking down the pay gap to ensure that all people live stable, healthy, and empowered lives.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America:
“It is unacceptable that more than 50 years after the Equal Pay Act, we still face such a stark wage gap in this country. As the leading women’s health care provider and advocate, we at Planned Parenthood hear from women every day who work full-time and struggle to make ends meet. This is more than a statistic -- it has dire life consequences for women and their families. It is time to ensure all women, especially women of color, receive equal pay for equal work. The public overwhelmingly supports equal pay. We cannot move ahead if half the population is left behind. Women — and this country — are ready to move forward. Anyone who argues differently is on the wrong side of history.”
For women who are head of households, the gender gap prevents them from achieving upward socioeconomic mobility. Black women and Latina women are more likely to be heads of their households --- today, 40 percent of married Latinas and more than 50 percent of married Black women bring in at least half of their families’ income --- yet hold a disproportionate number of low-paying jobs. Meanwhile, families headed by a working, single mom make up nearly 40 percent of all low-income families.
The wage gap doesn’t just impact economic success, it impacts people’s ability to get health care and can compound the structural barriers communities of color already face to accessing quality health care. Planned Parenthood continues to work toward ensuring all people are able to be healthy and access quality health care -- no matter what.