Today, there will be speeches and rallies around Equal Pay Day for Women, pointing out that woman continue to make cents on the dollar compared to men, according to the Feminist Action Collective.
April 10 is a recognition of the average equal pay, but the discourse that surrounds it, does not represent the equal pay day for many.
While the oft-repeated "79 cents to a dollar" statistics will no doubt be quoted, it's important to remember the wage gap affects individuals and communities differently and varies according to race, ethnicity and gender identity and expression.
Asian-American women make 87 cents on the dollar compared to men, although this figure varies widely with ethnicity. White women make 79 cents on the male dollar, African American women make 65 cents, indigenous women make 57 cents and Latina women make 56 cents on the same male dollar. For transgender and non-binary folks, wage and workplace statistics are sparse, often because they are not factored into the discussions at all.
Still, statistics have shown that transgender and gender nonconforming individuals can be four times as likely to earn annual salaries less than $10,000, their existing salaries drop precipitously once they begin to identify or transition at work. There are also no federal legal workplace protections based on gender identity, which leads to higher rates of discrimination in hiring, firing, and lower wage rates among transgender and non-binary folks.
The Feminist Action Collective of Duluth applauds the efforts of all of those who work tirelessly to call attention to salary discrepancies and fight for equal wages, as well as for fair and equitable practices in the workplace. It is our hope that ongoing discussions of equal pay, which have traditionally centered white women, will continue to recognize and advocate for all of those who are oppressed by patriarchal economic systems.