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WASHINGTON, DC -- Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards released the following statement on President Obama’s executive order to ensure fair pay for employees who work for federal contractors, among other protections.

Statement from Cecile Richards, President, Planned Parenthood Action Fund:
“President Obama has sent an important message to working women and their families: that hard work should be rewarded with fair pay and that economic opportunity should be available for all women, no matter where they work or how much money they have.

“We know that women make up the majority of low-wage workers and are often put into difficult positions when it comes to juggling work and family. No women should be forced to choose between taking care of a sick child, putting food on the table, and keeping her job.

“Today’s action ensures that the federal government, the nation’s largest source of contracted work, has systems in place to hold contractors accountable for treating their employees with the respect and dignity they deserve.”


Increasingly, jobs are contracted, franchised or contingent, so that a worker's immediate employer is not really who makes the rules or controls the revenue. For too long, the government, the nation’s largest source of contracted work, has played a role in a race to the bottom – creating incentives for companies to cut corners and shortchange workers in order to win federal contracts.

According to a recent survey on the state of American women:

  • 63 percent of women feel their lives and those of their families have become harder, with economic stress the principal driver of their concerns. 

Fifty-one years after President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law, women continue to earn less than men.

According to a report from the National Partnership for Women and Families:

  • Women make only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men, amounting to a yearly gap of $11,084 between full-time men and women. 
  • That $11,084 lost could purchase 89 more weeks of food or more than 3,000 additional gallons of gas or more than one year of rent for a woman’s family.
  • For African-American women and Latinas the pay gap is even larger.  African-American women on average earn only 64 cents and Latinas on average earn only 54 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men.

According to a recent report from the National Women’s Law Center:

  • There are 20 million low-wage workers in the United States — and two-thirds of them are women.
  • Unless women have a bachelor's degree, they are overrepresented in low-wage jobs.
  • Even in low-wage jobs, women working full time, year round make just 87 cents for every dollar their male counterparts earn.
  • Close to one-third of the low-wage workforce are mothers — and 40 percent of them have family incomes below $25,000.