I am wearing red today, and I hope you are in solidarity with Black Women’s Equal Pay Day.
On average, all women are paid 82% of what a White man is paid. But on average, Black women are paid 63% of what White men are paid. That means that it takes a Black woman 19 months to earn what a White man earns in 12 months.
Why is it that Black women have to work seven extra months in order to earn the same pay as a male co-worker? Because, as noted in a study by the Association of University Women, Black women and girls live at the intersection of racism and sexism. While these two forms of systemic inequality are manifested differently, their effects are compounded when a person experiences both at the same time. This study by the Association of University Women concludes that intersectional discrimination perpetuates the racial and gender wealth gaps, limits Black women’s access to educational opportunities, and impedes Black women’s career advancement.
What happens to Black women in terms of pay and wealth disparities clearly affects them, and these disparities also affect the people around them. 80% of Black mothers are the sole breadwinners, the co-breadwinners or the primary breadwinners for their households.
In response to the blatant injustice in the pay gap and wealth gap experienced by Black women, here is what every member of NCNW can do.
- Congresswoman Alma Adams has put forth the Black Women’s Equal Pay Resolution. Call your representatives in Congress and tell them to support this resolution.
- Contact your Senators and ask them to reconsider the Paycheck Fairness Act that has passed the House four times. Stress to your Senators that this act would help close the gender wage gap by closing loopholes in pay discrimination laws.
- Visit the BlackWomenPayEquity.com website to become more informed about pay inequity experienced by Black women. Draw on information on that website as you have conversations about pay inequity that is experienced by Black women.
- Wear lots of red today as you stand in solidarity with the call for pay equity for all Black women, indeed for all women.
- Post why you are wearing RED on your social media #PayEquityCoalition, #NCNW.
- Join the NCNW virtual rally and press conference today at 11:00 a.m. https://bit.ly/ncnwequalpayday
Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Ph.D.
National chair and seventh president
“Persist in the struggle to close the wage gap”