Pelosi Statement on 58th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act
San Francisco – Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement marking the 58th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act, signed into law by President Kennedy on June 10, 1963:
“Today, our nation marks 58 years of the Equal Pay Act, which enshrined ‘equal pay for equal work’ into law. This vital principle is foundational to our democracy’s promise of full equality and imperative for our nation’s economic success. While we have made some progress over the last six decades, equal pay is not yet a reality: women are still paid only 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. For women of color, the gap is far worse: Black women make 63 cents, Native women make 60 cents and Latinas make 55 cents.
“As we commemorate this anniversary, our nation is recovering from a pandemic that has taken an unjust, uneven toll on women. Last year, 4.5 million women – and disproportionately women of color – lost or were forced to leave their jobs during the pandemic. Economists estimate that it could take nearly two years for women’s employment to return to pre-pandemic levels. It is both a moral and an economic imperative that, as we Build Back Better, we unleash the full power of women in the workforce – because when women succeed, America succeeds.
“That is why Democrats are fighting hard to enact the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would strengthen the Equal Pay Act by finally providing effective remedies for women who are not receiving equal pay for equal work. Although Republicans in the Senate are blocking this vital, bipartisan and overwhelmingly popular bill, we will not relent until we secure the wages that working women deserve. In addition, President Biden and the Democratic Congress are hard at work advancing the American Jobs and Families Plans, which will help women return to the workforce by expanding access to child care, health care, workplace safety and more. Today, and every day, let us recommit to lifting up working women and finishing the work the Equal Pay Act began.”