Today is Equal Pay Day,
a national event to raise awareness about the discrepancies in wages
between men and women. In case you doubt the seriousness of the issue, consider this: The
National Committee for Pay Equity estimates that women are make, on average, between $400,000 and $2 million less than their male counterparts over the course of their life.
While the U.S. Senate has still not taken up the Paycheck Fairness Act, the two candidates running for Barack Obama's seat here in Illinois offer a stark choice on the issue of pay equity. Mark Kirk has voted down multiple pay fairness bills, using tortured legal logic to justify his anti-women (and anti-worker) positions. Alexi Giannoulias, on the other hand, has a full section of his platform devoted to the issue.
Finally, here are Rep. Phil Hare's thoughts on the issue, from a statement released today:
The fact that women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men for the same work is a national disgrace. ... Every time a woman is denied equal pay it is her entire family who suffers from the reduced income. Worse yet, it is a betrayal of our national values. I hope we never have to mark Equal Pay Day again.