Feminist Majority President Eleanor Smeal and former Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney joined other feminist leaders in New York City today to celebrate Equal Pay Day and draw attention to the ongoing pay inequalities between men and women. 

The Government Accountability Office released a concerning new report highlighting the underrepresentation of women in management positions as well as the varying gender pay gap by industry and demographics. The study revealed that, in 2021, women made up only 42% of all managers, and made just 71 cents for every dollar paid to men in the same managerial positions. However, women of color were even more disproportionately impacted by this pay gap, with Black or African American women making 59 cents, Hispanic or Latina women making 56 cents, and American Indian or Alaska Native women making 51 cents. 

“The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in the U.S. Constitution will provide for all intents and purposes a permanent, powerful tool to close the gender wage gap, the life income gap, the gender gap in social security, the gender gaps in insurance plans, in pension plans… the list goes on and on,” Smeal said. “It is simple: to win economic equality, we must have, in the highest law of the land, a ban on sex discrimination.”

Eleanor Smeal and Carolyn Maloney will continue fighting for equal pay in honor of former Congresswoman Patricia Schroeder, who passed away last night. Schroeder was a champion of women’s rights in Congress; perhaps most notable was her dedication to the passage of the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, which offered job protection for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the care of a newborn, sick child or parent.

Despite the progress that has been made since Schroeder’s time in Congress, we are still fighting the same battle for equality decades later. “The pay gap, along with the Dobbs decision, are two reminders of why we need to pass the Equal Rights Amendment now more than ever,” said Maloney. 

Sources: GAO 3/14; CNN 3/14

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