Pay Equity: Raise Your Voice for Equal Pay for Equal Work

Democratic leadership in the House has vowed to push forward with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Democratic leadership in the House on a Thursday conference call -- including California's Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Rep. George Miller, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, and Connecticut's Rep. Rosa DeLauro, vowed to push forward with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (HR 11) and the Paycheck Fairness Act (HR 12).

DeLauro said: "Women who work hard and productively and carry a full range of family responsibilities should be treated fairly."

DeLauro emphasized that close to one-third of all women in this country live in poverty. And for unmarried women, especially those who are heads of household with children, things are even more grim. These women have income that is, on average, $12,000 less than unmarried male counterparts. Wade Henderson of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights said, "this is a civil rights issue."

This needs to change. Women should earn the same pay for doing the same work. That should not even be a question.

The House is likely to reintroduce these bills late Thursday afternoon or, more likely, early on Friday. Miller, who has championed the Ledbetter Act through the last Congress and today, said that the Senate will likely take up this issue next week as well -- that Democratic leadership is looking at the schedule for floor time and that this is a priority for a number of members of the Senate.

Christy Hardin Smith is a former attorney, who earned her undergraduate degree at Smith College, in American Studies and Government, concentrating in American Foreign Policy. She then went on to graduate studies at the University of Pennsylvania in the field of political science and international relations/security studies, before attending law school at the College of Law at West Virginia University, where she was Associate Editor of the Law Review.
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