A large coalition of women’s rights organizations quickly supported and applauded today’s recommendations of the White House Middle Class Task Force and its Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force to advance equal pay for women. The recommendations were released today by Vice President Joseph Biden, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis at a large event attended by many women leaders and activists including Lilly Ledbetter.
“This White House Action led by Vice President Joe Biden is exactly what is needed to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act for women workers in the Senate before it adjourns this session,” explained Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority. “In this recession, it is very clear for most Americans a woman’s paycheck is needed for the family to stay out of poverty. Women cannot continue to be shortchanged if they and the families that depend upon them are to stay in or reach the middle class.”
“The White House today is not only urging the Senate to act now (The House has already passed the Paycheck Fairness Act.), but it is also taking an historic pledge to have the federal government become a model employer on equal pay for women,” continued Smeal, “and to wage a public education campaign for employers (including the federal government) to know the responsibilities to end pay discrimination and for women workers to know their rights. Plus, the White House is making a strong commitment and adding more desperately needed resources to enforce the laws to end job and wage discrimination. For feminists who have worked for equal pay for decades, at last, we are getting traction — real momentum — from the top. And we are not going to rest until equal pay for women is a reality.”