The following was penned by Senator Liz Krueger and New York Women’s Agenda & Equal Pay Coalition NYC
The United States has always been a beacon of democracy. And as Americans, we take pride in our basic principles that are rooted in the democratic notions of freedom and equality. Yes, injustices persist, and we continue to fight and break down barriers that prevent access to basic rights. But what happens when these problems are kept well hidden and are not as easy to identify or expose?
Today, we would venture to assume that most women, especially those who are relatively new to the work force, presume that their salaries have everything to do with job performance and responsibility, and nothing to do with gender. However, 48 years after President John F. Kennedy sought to end gender-based pay discrimination and close the wage gap through the Equal Pay Act, pay inequality rooted in gender bias continues to persist. Today, women earn 77 cents to every dollar earned by their male counterparts, up from 59 cents in 1963, meaning the wage gap has narrowed at a dismal rate of less than a half a cent per year.