Yesterday President Obama signed a proclamation declaring April 8 as National Equal Pay Day. This date was chosen because it is 98 days into the new year — the number of extra days a woman would have to add to her previous 365 days’s work to earn the same amount as a man does in a year.
I think you will enjoy reading the words of the proclamation yourself. Here is an excerpt with my favorite parts in bold. The full proclamation can be found here.
Throughout our Nation’s history, brave women have torn down barriers so their daughters might one day enjoy the same rights, same chances, and same freedoms as their sons. Despite tremendous progress, too many women are entering the workforce to find their mothers’ and grandmothers’ victories undermined by the unrealized promise of equal pay for equal work. On National Equal Pay Day, we mark how far into the new year women would have to work to earn the same as men did in the previous year, and we recommit to making equal pay a reality.
Women make up nearly half of our Nation’s workforce and are primary breadwinners in 4 in 10 American households with children under age 18. Yet from boardrooms to classrooms to factory floors, their talent and hard work are not reflected on the payroll. Today, women still make only 77 cents to every man’s dollar, and the pay gap is even wider for women of color. Over her lifetime, the average American woman can expect to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars to the earnings gap, a significant blow to both women and their families. In an increasingly competitive global marketplace, we must use all of America’s talent to its fullest potential — because when women succeed, America succeeds….
The time has passed for us to recognize that what determines success should not be our gender, but rather our talent, our drive, and the strength of our contributions. So, today, let us breathe new life into our founding ideals. Let us march toward a day when, in the land of liberty and opportunity, there are no limits on our daughters’ dreams and no glass ceilings on the value of their work….