Today in America, our sisters of color earn as little as 56 cents on the dollar that white, non-Latino men make. And despite President Obama signing into law the groundbreaking Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, we aren’t closing the gap as fast as we should.
When it comes to supporting working women, the system keeps letting women down. Barriers like unaffordable child care, inadequate paid family leave, and an all-out assault on unions and workplace protections disproportionately and negatively impact women. That’s not to mention the plain old ageism and sexism that still pervade our most powerful institutions.
We excel as doctors, attorneys, professors, engineers, organizers. We pay the same taxes, apply for the same loans, and live in the same apartments and homes as our male counterparts. Paying us less holds our economy back, but just as importantly it subjects us to the personal indignity of being told that we are worth less.
I am sick and tired of hearing that my sisters of color must work twice as long for the same pay. We have the power to change this, but only if we stand together. In the words of a mentor and fellow revolutionary, Senator Nina Turner:
“Ladies, can I just say this — we want our whole damn dollar!”
Thank you for standing up to fight with our sisters around the world.