Mind and Destiny

“I make no pretension to patriotism. So long as my voice can be heard ... I will hold up America to the lightning scorn of moral indignation. In doing this, I shall feel myself discharging the duty of a true patriot; for he is a lover of his country who rebukes and does not excuse its sins. It is righteousness that exalteth a nation while sin is a reproach to any people.”- Frederick Douglass

Location: Delhi, N.Y., United States

The author and his webmaster, summer of 1965.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Our Female Workforce

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first bill President Obama signed into law, but a lot more needs to do be done to close the pay gap between men and women.
Today, women account for almost half of the workforce.  But the typical woman who works full time still earns 79 cents for every dollar that the typical man does.  The gap is even wider for women of color.  The typical black working woman makes only 60 cents,  and the typical Latino woman makes only 55 cents for every dollar a white male earns.  Those statistics refer to women doing the same job, but being paid differently.  For the most part, women aren’t getting a fair shot that they deserve.
Women are increasingly the breadwinners in households, and paying them less makes it harder for families to cover important necessities.  Furthermore, what kind of example does paying women less set for our sons and daughters?
The Obama administration has proposed collecting and reporting pay data by race, ethnicity, and gender from businesses with 100 employees or more.  That information would help businesses get a better picture of how they can ensure their employees are being treated equally.  Better data would also help our government do a better job enforcing existing equal pay laws.  
More women should be encouraged to prepare for high-paying jobs in science, technology, engineering and math.  A raise in the federal minimum wage, guaranteed paid sick and family leave, fully protecting pregnant workers, and passing the Paycheck Fairness Act would provide workers with more tools to fight pay discrimination.
The idea that we would be keep our daughters out of opportunity, by not letting them fully participate in every human endeavor is counterproductive.  It’s not the way to build a great future for America.


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