Monday, April 6, 2015

Still unequal after all these years

Belinda Biafore, chair of the WV State Democratic Executive Committee, has a message for all West Virginians about an issue that, at first glance, looks like a women's issue. In reality, it ends up being everyone's problem:
It’s the beginning of April and the countdown to Equal Pay Day begins. Equal Pay Day is on Tuesday, April 14th, and women all across the United States are reminded that we are still fighting for equal pay for equal work. 
Women in the United States are only making around 78 cents to every dollar a man makes. How is this fair? It’s not, and while nationally the amount is 78 cents, here in West Virginia women’s earnings are even less than that.
In a recent study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, West Virginia ranks second to last in gender earnings ratio in the United States. West Virginia’s gender earnings ratio is 67.3 percent. Only Louisiana, at 66.7%, is lower.
We just completed the 2015 legislative session under Republican leadership that attacked wages of not just women, but all hardworking West Virginians. We need to be taking steps forward for our state, not backwards. How can we close the wage gap when we have a Republican majority that is focused on rolling us back in all aspects of our workforce?
Young men and women are the future of West Virginia. We talk about ways to keep them here at home to help our economy and build our future, but how can we expect young women to want to stay here?
Thirty cents may not seem like a lot, but it adds up when you’re providing for your family. Day after day we buy groceries, gas, and food for our children. We pay for child care and save for their college education.
We work and we provide for ourselves and our families. So why, when we work so hard, are women paid less?
Pay discrimination isn't just a women’s issue, it’s a family issue. It’s everyone’s issue.
Women have fought for centuries for equal rights, and our fight continues every single day. 
Join the Democratic Party in our fight for equal pay for equal work as we take Equal Pay Day to remember that hardworking West Virginians include hardworking West Virginia women.