Nine years ago this week:
By Abby Boyle, OFA Digital
Nine years ago this week, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
It was the very first piece of legislation he signed into law as president, and it was a real step forward in the fight for equal pay.
It was named for Ms. Ledbetter, a tire plant manager in Jacksonville, Alabama, who had spent 19 years building her career — only to learn one day, through an anonymous note in her mailbox, that she was being paid significantly less than her male coworkers for doing the exact same job.
But this anniversary isn’t just a celebration of the progress we’ve made — it’s a chance to reflect on the work we still need to do to ensure fair pay for women.
Right now, full-time working women are still earning less than their male counterparts, and that gap is even wider when race and ethnicity are taken into account. In 2015, women who worked full-time, year-round, made only 80 cents for every dollar earned by men. That typically translates into more than $10,000 in lost earnings for women each year.
We can — and should — do better.
Women in every industry, on Capitol Hill, and in communities all over the country are achieving incredible things every day. In the past year alone, we’ve organized massive marches, and fought back time and time again as congressional leaders continue with their efforts to limit our access to critical health care services. We deserve to be treated fairly. And we need to keep speaking out until that’s a reality.