Here’s why #EqualPayDay is important

April 12th is a national holiday, but not a cause for celebration.

By Bronte Price, PoliticKING

On average, women in the United States make $0.79 for every dollar men make. In an effort to change that and bring equality to women’s pay, April 12th is National Equal Pay Day. President Barack Obama issued a presidential proclamation on Monday reasserting that April 12, 2016, is National Equal Pay Day.

“The gender pay gap in the United States is among the largest of many industrialized nations, and because women make up nearly half our workforce, this disparity impacts us all,” President Obama wrote. “The pay gap between men and women offends our values as Americans, and as long as it exists, our businesses, our communities, and our Nation will suffer the consequences.”

While the pay gap is not ideal, we have made significant progress as a country. According to the White House, in 1964, women on average were paid 59% of what men were paid, and in 2014, that number had climbed to 79%. If the pay gap continues to climb at its current rate, women won't earn equal pay until 2059, according to the Institute for Women's Policy Research.

It is important to note that the pay gap varies significantly depending on race. The American Association of University Women reports that Asian American women, earn 90% of what white men do. However, African American women are paid only 63% of what white men are, and Hispanic or Latina women earn just 54% of what white men do.

Hillary Clinton, the only woman in the presidential race, called for an end to the pay gap at an event hosted by Glassdoor on Tuesday. She insisted that the gap is an issue that affects the “broader economy,” adding that “last time I checked, there’s no discount for being a woman. Groceries don’t cost us less.”

“You have more pay parity in today’s world when you start to work, which is why so many young women don’t see this as a problem, because they’re getting equal pay,” she said. “But then when you get up in years, you find out it’s not true anymore. Why? What happened? I’m still the same person, I work just as hard.”

When presidential candidate, Donald Trump was asked by a women at a rally if she would make as much as a man if he were elected president, Trump responded, "I respect women and I'm going to take care of women." He added, "You're going to make the same if you do as good a job."

Here’s what Jesse Ventura has to say about the importance of equal pay:

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

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