Pelosi: 'Working Women and Their Families Deserve Equal Pay for Equal Work'

April 24, 2007
Press Release

Washington, D.C. - Speaker Nancy Pelosi released the following statement this morning at an Education and Labor Committee hearing on equal pay:

'I want to thank the Education and Labor Committee Chairman George Miller for convening this critical hearing today on Strengthening the Middle Class:  Ensuring Equal Pay for Women.

'I also want to recognize the leadership of Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro, a champion for equal pay in the Congress, who for 10 years has been introducing the Paycheck Fairness Act.

'Over the last four decades, we have made strides in closing the wage gap between women and men.  But it has not been enough.  Working women now earn about 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.  The earnings for African-American women are 68 percent of men's earnings; the earnings of Hispanic women are 57 percent of men's earnings; and the earnings of Asian-American women are 88 percent of men's earnings.

'Today, almost four full months into the new year, women throughout the country mark the date to which they have worked just so their wages equal the same amount paid to men in the previous year.  That is because it takes the average woman 16 months to earn what men earn in one calendar year. This is not just and does not reflect appropriately the contributions they make.

'For many, closing the wage gap is not just a matter of equity, but survival.  Many low-wage women workers are the source of sole support for their families.  Economic equity and self-sufficiency are essential to achieving the American dream. It is outrageous that women begin the quest to achieve that dream already at a deficit.

'Working women and their families deserve equal pay for equal work and I am proud that the Education and Labor Committee, led by Chairman Miller are addressing this issue today.'