Women’s Equal Pay Day to be held March 24, 2021

by Mary Grow
External Communications, Waterville Branch, American Association of University Women

The Waterville Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) will observe Equal Pay Day 2021 on Wednesday, March 24.

Equal Pay Day is the date each spring that women catch up to men in terms of how much they earned in 2020. In other words, because women, on average, earn less for comparable work than men do, they must work longer for the same amount of pay.

Traditionally, Waterville AAUW branch members have observed the day with a bake sale at the Waterville Shaw’s supermarket, selling cookies to men for $1 and to women for 80 cents.

Because of the pandemic, this year they plan two substitute activities, for AAUW members and non-members. First, they ask people to write to their U. S. Senators and Representatives asking them to support the Paycheck Fairness Act. Second, they urge people to wear red on March 24, to signify that women are “in the red” in terms of pay.

The Paycheck Fairness Act is intended to update, clarify and close loopholes in the 1963 Equal Pay Act. In the 116th Congress (January 2019-January 2021), the House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act; the Senate did not act.

Equal Pay Day was first observed in 1996, to illustrate the pay gap between men and women. On average in 2021, women working full-time are paid 83 percent of what men working full-time in comparable jobs are paid.

The average gap is greater for mothers, who earn 70 cents for each dollar a man earns and for whom Equal Pay Day in 2021 is June 4, and for women of color. Latina women are worse off, earning on average 55 cents for each dollar comparably employed men receive; Latina women’s 2021 Equal Pay Day is not until Oct. 21.

Mailing addresses for Maine’s four Congressional members follow. Each has a website with information on sending him or her an email or telephone message.
Representative Chellie Pingree:

U. S. House of Representatives
2162 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington DC 20515.

Representative Jared Golden:
U. S. House of Representatives
1223 Longworth HOB
Washington, DC 20515.

Senator Angus King:
U. S. Senate
133 Hart Building
Washington, DC 20510.

Senator Susan Collins:
U. S. Senate
413 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510.


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