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Show Respect… and Show Me the Money!

I Googled “who can make a proclamation” out of some sort of temporary concern that I am not qualified to proclaim something. Then I remembered – that has never stopped me before. I’ve stretched, reached, and worked hard for what I believe to be right. This is not going to be an exception.

Next Tuesday, April 9, 2013 is Equal Pay Day. Equal Pay Day symbolizes how far into 2013 women must work to earn what men earned in 2012. I think women are deserving of more respect than that. A Woman’s Place (AWP) values respect. AWP is considerate and honors the worth and dignity of all beings and resources. It’s time for that value to be more widely embraced, and one way to demonstrate that embrace would be with equal pay. Today I have the opportunity to make a statement, so a proclamation seems to be in order. (Thank you to the National Committee on Pay Equity for helping me with the wording.)

WHEREAS, forty years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, women and people of color continue to suffer the consequences of inequitable pay differentials; and

WHEREAS, according to statistics released in 2012 by the U. S. Census Bureau, year-round, full-time working women in 2011 earned only 77% of the earnings of  year-round, full-time working men, indicating little change or progress in pay equity; and

WHEREAS, according to a January 2002 report released by the General Accounting Office (the investigative arm of Congress), women managers in 7 of 10 industries surveyed, actually lost ground in closing the wage gap between 1995 and 2000; and

WHEREAS, according to an analysis of data in over 300 classifications provided by the U. S. Department of Labor Statistics in 2001, women earn less in every occupational classification for which enough data is available, including occupations dominated by women (e.g., cashiers, retail sales, registered nurses, and teachers); and

WHEREAS, higher education is not free from wage discrimination according to a U. S. Department of Education analysis, reporting that, after controlling for rank, age, credentials, field of study, and other factors, full-time female faculty members earn nearly 9% less than their male counterparts; and

WHEREAS, the national partnership for women and families reports that Pennsylvania is no exception to this disparity and, while the median yearly pay for a man in $47,956, the median pay for a woman is $37,089; and

WHEREAS, over a working lifetime, this wage disparity costs the average American woman and her family $700,000 to $2 million in lost wages, impacting Social Security benefits and pensions; and

WHEREAS, fair pay equity policies can be implemented simply and without undue costs or hardship in both the public and private sectors; and

WHEREAS, fair pay strengthens the security of families today and eases future retirement costs, while enhancing the American economy; and

WHEREAS, Tuesday, April 9 symbolizes the time in the new year in which the wages paid to American women catch up to the wages paid to men from the previous year,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ifeoma U. Aduba do hereby proclaim Tuesday, April 9, 2013:

EQUAL PAY DAY

at A Woman’s Place (because this is where I can officially proclaim things) and urge the citizens of Bucks County and the world to recognize the full value of women’s skills and significant contributions to the labor force, and further encourage businesses to conduct an internal pay evaluation to ensure women are being paid fairly.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and cause the official seal of A Woman’s Place to be affixed. (Until I get a seal, our logo will have to suffice.)

Ifeoma U. Aduba
Executive Director

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