April 17, 2012, marked “Equal Pay Day” in the United States.
On average, women earn less than men and therefore they must work one day longer a week to earn the same pay. That’s why Equal Pay Day is recognized yearly; it is to demonstrate concretely that it takes one day more per week for the average earnings of women to catch up to those earned by men in a similar job
Today, women earn 81.2 cents for every dollar men earn. The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics found that women who were full-time workers had median weekly earnings of $669, nearly 20% less than men’s median weekly earnings (based on 2010 data). Broken down by race, the gap is even larger. Latina women earn $508 per week as compared to $850 per week for White men. Similarly, African-American women earn $592 per week and Asian women earn $773 per week. While Equal Pay Day is designed to highlight wage discrimination involving women, Latino and African-American men also earn less than White men. Latino men earn $560 a week as compared to $850 per week for White men. African-American men earn $633 per week.
Women are already suffering economically in these difficult economic times, and their challenges are even greater because of the harms caused by pay discrimination.