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Today is Equal Pay Day

To the Journal editor:

March, Women’s History Month, has been memorable. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution extending the deadline on the Equal Rights Amendment. This amendment was championed by Michigan’s own Martha Griffiths. Our present U.S. Representative, Jack Bergman, voted against this resolution which would pave the way for women to be afforded equal rights in the Constitution. He did not think ERA was needed now. Really? Look at the gender pay gap.

Equal Pay Day for women in general is March 24. This is the day when women catch up to what men made the previous year. We now make 82 cents on the dollar men are paid for the same work. Of course if you are a mother, your Equal Pay Day is June 4 because you make 70 cents on the dollar men make. If you are a Black woman your Equal Pay Day is Aug. 3, because you make 63 cents to the dollar. Native American Women’s Equal Pay Day is Sept. 8; because they are making 60 cents to the dollar men make.

The gender pay gap and the impact of COVID-19 on women in Michigan’s work force will be reported by the Michigan Women’s Commission, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Julissa Reynoso, co-chair of the White House’s Gender Policy Council on Equal Pay Day March 24 on Michigan Women’s Commission YouTube Channel at 4 p.m. today.

One day after the Atlanta massacre of eight people, seven of whom were women, our U.S. Representative Jack Bergman voted against the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women’s Act. The legislation provides funding for victim services, including health care, housing, programs to improve criminal justice response to gender based violence and invests in prevention. This Act ensures indigenous tribes jurisdiction over non-native perpetrators of sexual assault and domestic violence on tribal lands. It requires convicted abusers to relinquish their firearms. It was this provision which moved Representative Bergman to vote against VAWA. This bill broadens prevention of firearm homicide. Victims of dating violence are covered by VAWA 2021. Congressman Bergman disregarded studies showing the connection perpetrators of mass violence are often men who have histories of abuse or harassment of women. Bergman claims he supports policies of non-discrimination. Really? Let’s watch for his vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act. The gender pay gap is persistent. We need to challenge discrimination.

KARLYN RAPPORT

Marquette

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