45 Years Later…

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It is no secret that men in the United States out-earn women. Forty-five years after the initial Equal Pay Act of 1963 women are still being paid significantly less than men who work in the same capacity. The most recent attempt, in the United States Senate, to provide protection to women workers was the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act: this legislation was not passed at the April vote. Throughout the years women have fought for and obtained significant rights including the right to vote and reproductive rights. After all of this time, why is the right to equal pay not a given right for women workers in the United States?

One contributing factor to this on-going in-equality is the political under representation of women. Today in Washington, there are 74 women serving in the 435 seat House of Representative, and 16 women serving in the 100 seat Senate. Although women are not being voted for they are certainly voting. A 2004 Census Bureau Report showed that women out number men in voter eligibility, registration and actual ballots cast. The report states that 67.6% of females of voting age were registered to vote, compared with 64% of voting age males. From those registered to vote 60.1% of females did vote whereas only 56.3% of males casted ballots on election-day. As voters, it is our responsibility to elect officials who are representative to the population-which would include both men and women representative. Additionally, we must elect representatives who will promote fair and progressive legislation, starting with eliminating pay disparities between genders.

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