Even though women’s rights have been increasing and expanding for the better part of the past century, the wage gap between men and women has never closed. Even though President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Law in 1963, women still only earn 83 cents for every dollar that a man makes, according to a 2016 survey. And that’s just white women. The wage gap is even larger for women of color.
In solidarity for the cause, people around the nation are wearing red to show their support. The color red symbolizes how far women and minorities are “in the red” with their payment inequities. Equal Pay Day was first created by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996. They specifically chose the date to be on a Tuesday to show how far into the next work week women have to work to make what men earned the previous week.
This year’s Equal Pay Day falls on April 4, which represents how far into 2017 women had to work to make the amount that men made in 2016. According to the Voter Participation Data Center, it won’t be until May 1 that unmarried women make as much as their male counterparts did last year. Again, this is just for white women. For an unmarried Hispanic woman to earn as much as the average married man made in 2016, she would have to work until January of 2018.
There are many different ways to show your support for women’s fight for equal pay today. You can attend a local rally, you can wear red, you can contact your local congressmen and ask them to pledge their support as well. It may be 2017, but the fight for women’s equality is far from over.