To the Editor:
How many of us can say that our lives look the same as they did 10, 20, or 50 years ago? I certainly can't, but that's what millions of women around the country are stuck with when it comes to the gender wage gap and the laws that are supposed to prevent this inequality.
According to the latest data released by the Census Bureau last week, women working full time, year round still earn only 77 cents on average compared to their male counterparts.
The Median Annual Earnings and Earnings Ratio for full-time, Year-round Workers, Ages 16 and Older, by State and Gender, 2012 report shows the median salary for men in Iowa was $45,305 and for women $35,106, an earnings difference of $10,199. Iowa women are earning over 22% less than their male counterparts.
Even after controlling for factors known to affect earnings, such as occupation, college major, and hours worked, the American Association of University Women found that a 7 percent pay gap persists between male and female college graduates just one year after graduation. The gender wage gap hasn't budged in 10 years, and it's about time Congress did something about it.
American women and families need Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. The Paycheck Fairness Act would close loopholes in the 50-year-old Equal Pay Act, bar retaliation against workers who disclose their own wages to coworkers, and give both employers and employees the tools they need to end unequal pay practices.
Those lawmakers who do not actively support the Paycheck Fairness Act are denying women their economic security and simply refusing to move forward with society's changing needs.