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Women’s History Month: Time to make equal pay, time to make history.

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March is Women’s History Month, however, the equality of women goes past everyone so quickly because they have been trained to believe that women are inferior. It is almost a religion in and of itself to discriminate against women. It is in how women are represented on TV, it is how they are talked to, it is how they are preached about (see video) but more importantly, it’s in the salaries they make. It has been 5 years since President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter act, and nothing has changed.

Recently Bobby Jindal and other governor met with the president in the White House to discuss raising the minimum wage. After the meeting which seemed to have gone well, Jindal came outside of the White House and had this to say:

"The Obama economy is now the minimum wage economy," he said, "I think we can do better than that. I think America can do better than that." Now what minimum wage economy means exactly, no one knows. However, this article will supply some numbers that Bobby Jindal may be interested in.

Seventy percent of women cite being paid less than men for the same work as a big problem, with half saying that it’s major, according to a new poll from the EMILY’s List-affiliated group American Women. Thirty percent of women report experiencing discrimination in the workplace. Thirty-one percent say they would be paid more if they were a man. In fact, 13 percent of respondents to another survey said they have been denied a raise due to gender, while 15 percent said they were passed over for a promotion.

In addition women (and some men) live under the threat that if they ask for more, they will be fired. This is nothing new. If anyone mentions women having a raise, congress retorts by saying employers will have to fire people if a raise is given. Employees do not try because they are afraid to lose what they have. Walmart employees have to actually apply for food stamps to make up what they lack in pay. Companies are passing the burden on to Americans who must pay taxes for it all.

About half of all workers (51 percent of women and 47 percent of men) report that the discussion of wage and salary information is either discouraged or prohibited and/or could lead to punishment. Most government agencies have formal grade and step systems that make general wage and salary information public (only 18 percent of women and 11 percent of men in the public sector report discouragement or prohibition of wage and salary discussions).”

It is time for a change. According to an article in the business pages of the Huffington post; “The vast majority of Americans support increasing the national minimum wage, according to a recent poll commissioned by the National Employment Law Project Action Fund, a non-profit group that supports increasing the minimum wage.

‘The poll, which was conducted by the public opinion research firm Hart Research Associates, found 80 percent of the respondents agree that the minimum wage should be raised to $10.10 an hour and increased periodically to account for rising costs. The number of Republicans who agree are not as great as the Democrats. However, more that 60% of Republicans want to see a raise for America. Perhaps not as high as $10.10, but Republicans do want change.

‘Support for the measure among registered Democrats was especially high, with 92 percent in favor of the proposal. Among Republicans, 62 percent supported the wage increase. About three quarters of the respondents said that raising the minimum wage should be a top Congressional priority.”

When women are paid less than men for the same work, it hurts our families and it hurts our economy. Women are currently the main breadwinner in a record-high 40% of households, but they make an average of just 77 cents for every dollar that men earn.

‘The United States has no standard for paid leave after childbirth for working mothers. Only 51% of women overall have access to paid leave—and only 32% percent of women with a high school diploma have access.

‘More than 60% of minimum-wage workers are women, making an annual salary of $15,000 for full-time work. If the minimum wage is raised to just $9 per hour, 13 million women would see an increase in their earnings.”

It is Women’s History Month. Time to make equal pay, time to make some history!

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