The difference in pay costs women nearly $450 billion a year in lost wages.
Improving economic fairness
Beverly Neufeld set up a group called PowHer NY to improve economic fairness. She says theaverage woman has to work 15 months every year to make what an average white man makesin 12 months. That difference is, in her words, "a lot of bread" – another word for money.
Activists point out economic fairness is not an issue that concerns only women. MarthaKamber is head of the Young Women's Christian Association in Brooklyn, New York. She says ifwomen cannot earn enough money to support their families, the whole community suffers.
And in the United States, where single mothers lead one fourth of all homes, the pay differencehas an especially big effect on children.
Last January, President Barack Obama asked Congress to pass a law that strengthenedeconomic fairness between women and men. But the federal government has not beensuccessful in that aim. So some state governments are taking action.
The New York State Assembly is expected to pass the Equal Pay Bill this year. It will protectemployees who discuss their earnings with others. Representative Michelle Titus proposed thebill. She says the protection is important because employers usually bar workers fromcomparing how much money they make.
Robert Cornegy, a New York City council member, is also urging change. He tells his daughtersevery day that if they work and study hard they can achieve anything and be recognized fairly.He says he does not want to tell them a lie.