Equal Pay Day: This is why it’s commemorated

Generic money image (Pixabay)

HOUSTON – Equal Pay Day symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, women’s annual earnings were 82.3 percent of men’s—and the gap was even wider for women of color. Black women were paid 63 percent of what non-Hispanic white men were paid in 2019, according to the U.S. Census. In other words, it takes the typical Black woman 19 months to earn what the average white man takes home in 12 months, NBC News reported.

Equal Pay Day originated with the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages. It was originally called “National Pay Inequity Awareness Day” and changed to Equal Pay Day in 1998, according to the Washington-based National Committee on Pay Equity, a coalition of women’s and civil rights organizations and others devoted to eliminating sex- and race-based wage discrimination and to achieve pay equity.

Here are some of the efforts seen today on social media that look toward closing the gender wage gap:

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.