The Simple Truth About the Gender Pay Gap

Women make up nearly half of the workforce in this country. Yet, on average, earn less than their male counterparts. Women working full time earn, on average, 79 cents to every dollar a white man makes. For women of color, the pay gap widens considerably. Black women make 64 cents, American Indian women 59 cents and Hispanic women 54 cents to the white male dollar.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963 made it illegal to pay women less based solely on their gender, with other demonstrable qualifications such as seniority, experience or merit listed as the only reasons to enact differing pay scales.

More recently, the Obama administration issued an executive action that will require companies with 100 employees or more to report pay data broken down by gender. These new equal pay rules go into effect in 2017.

Meantime, at the state level, passing legislation for a higher minimum wage, paid parental leave, protecting pregnant workers and improvement of reproductive rights will bolster how women are valued in the workplace.

Washington Community Action Network for the Stand With Women Campaign

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Chain Gang Protest Against Sen. O’Ban Highlights Voting Criminal to Women

IMG_4041 University Place, Wash. — Friday, May 13, 2016 — Community members led by Washington Community Action Network (CAN) protested Thursday in front Sen. Steve O’Ban’s campaign launch in University Place to call attention to his voting practices regarding women’s equity issues including reproductive rights, paid sick days and gender pay equity. Protesters dressed as a “chain gang” aimed to disrupt the event and inform attendees that O’Ban’s voting practices are criminal to women.

“As a community organization fighting for economic justice, Washington CAN recognizes that women are central to our families and our economy,” said Washington Community Action Network Co-Executive Director Mary Nguyen. “Senators like Steve O’Ban needs to expand health care access for women and trust that we will make healthy decisions for our bodies, family, and community.”

O’Ban, incumbent candidate of the state’s 28th Legislative District, has consistently voted against legislation that extends women’s reproductive rights including a bill in 2013 that would have required insurance companies to provide reproductive health services as part of the benefits they offer. He also sponsored a bill in the most recent session that would require minors to notify their parents of their need for abortion services.

“As a teenager, I was raped and had an abortion as a result of that crime,” said Washington CAN member MykleAnn Mora. “O’Ban’s proposed bill would have restricted the free choices teenagers deserve when they choose not to involve their parents.”

This protest supports the Stand With Women campaign that aims to update the rules with the basic idea that women should be equal participants in society and have reproductive freedom, equal pay and policies that support pregnant women in the workplace.

Lobby Day 2016

Washington Community Action Network and NARAL Pro-Choice Washington blocked foot traffic near the Capitol Campus sundial on President’s Day to call attention to state legislators’ efforts this session to stand in the way of women’s reproductive and economic equality.

“We continue to see widening disparities in wealth and income between men and women; the gap is even more devastating among women of color,” said Mary Le Nguyen, Washington CAN Co-Executive Director. “Raising the statewide minimum wage is a necessary step towards eliminating that gap.”

This year, Rep. Jay Rodne, Sen. Steve O’Ban and Sen. Michael Baumgartner, among others, have supported draconian legislation that would roll back women’s rights in Washington state, while standing in the way of legislation that would abolish workplace penalties for pregnancy, raise the minimum wage, support pay equity for men and women, and expand access to women’s health care.

Specifically, Republicans in the legislature have sponsored legislation to ban sex-selective abortion, a back-door attempt to place new restrictions on abortion that would force doctors to serve as law-enforcement officers rather than caregivers. Legislation has also tried to eliminate funding for abortion care for low-income women in Washington, by eliminating state Medicaid coverage for abortion with no exceptions for rape and incest.

“We need lawmakers in Olympia who stand with women by supporting legislation like the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which gives pregnant workers the ability to stay on the job and have a healthy pregnancy, instead of standing in the way by supporting back-door abortion bans and age restrictions on birth control,” said NARAL Pro-Choice Washington Executive Director Rachel Berkson. “Legislation that restricts women’s access to health care has no place in Washington state.”

These legislators have stood in the way of women’s economic and reproductive rights by blocking or refusing to support bills that would provide 12 months of birth control at a time to eliminate the need for monthly trips to the drugstore and legislation that would give pharmacists the ability to prescribe birth control directly.

Stand With Women is a national campaign calling on our elected leaders to expand access to women’s health care, abolish workplace penalties for pregnancy and caregiving, raise wages to ensure pay equity between men and women, and invest in women and families by funding affordable child care and education.

Lobby Day 2016

Lobby DayThis President’s Day, Monday, February 15, we are heading to Olympia for a Lobby Day and we would like to invite you along. We will travel to our state capital and call on lawmakers to put politics aside and put the issues you care about first. Our allies at NARAL Pro-Choice Washington will join us, in part to emphasize our Stand With Women campaign. The campaign urges lawmakers to stand with women this session by passing legislation to expand access to women’s health care, abolish workplace penalties for pregnancy and raise wages to ensure equal pay for women.

Another focus is our Health Care is a Human Right campaign. Washington CAN is part of a coalition working for a single-payer health care system that allows for all Washington residents to be covered with health insurance by the year 2020.

We will start at 10:00 am at the Washington State Labor Council, 906 Columbia Street SW #330 in Olympia. We will train, plan for the day and then hit the Capitol Campus for a full day of meeting with elected officials and staging actions to make our voices heard.

Please click this link to register for Lobby Day.

Stand With Women Legislative Kick Off

Washington CAN Executive Director Mary Le Nguyen and NARAL Pro-Choice Executive Director Rachel Berkson joined together for a kick off the legislative session regarding our Stand With Women campaign.

The campaign calls on our state Senators and Representatives to pass specific legislation that will expand access to women’s health care, raise the minimum wage and abolish workplace penalties for pregnant women.

We were proud to be joined by Senator Pramila Jayapal, Rep. Laurie Jinkins, Rep. Jessyn Farrell, Senator Karen Keiser, Teresa Mosqueda of Washington State Labor Council, and Rep. Cyrus Habib