equal-pay-day, feminism, gender-wage-gap

Next Tuesday in Market Square, there will be a bake sale that will be both discriminatory and sexist. Women will be charged 75 cents per item, while men will be charged $1. 

As part of the rally for Equal Pay Day that runs from noon to 2 p.m., the bake sale will underscore the point that women are only making 75 cents for every dollar that men earn.

Tuesday, April 12th is Equal Pay Day, a date that represents how long into the current year women must work to catch up to the amount men earned just in the previous year. The Market Square rally, organized by the Women and Girls Foundation, is designed to raise awareness and education about the gender wage gap, particularly in the Pittsburgh region, with speakers, entertainment and the wage-gap bake sale.

According to Ciera Marie Young, a Coro Fellow in Public Affairs and the lead organizer of the rally for the Women and Girls Foundation, census statistics show that women in the Pittsburgh metro area make approximately 73 cents for every dollar compared to men who have the same level of education and hold the same occupation.

“Nationally, women make approximately 79 cents on the dollar, but it is more nuanced than that as you look more closely at the demographics,” Young says. Compared to their male counterparts, African-American women make 63 cents and Latina women make 54 cents on the dollar. “When you’re not earning the full dollar, that impacts how you can provide for your family, pay for your rent or house, and provide adequate nutrition for yourself and your children. It has a big impact on quality of life.”

Speakers at the 2016 Equal Pay Day Rally will include Allegheny County Chief Executive Rich Fitzgerald, La’Tasha Mayes, Founder and Executive Director of New Voices Pittsburgh, and others. There will also be groups on hand to provide information and resources for women to advocate for themselves in closing wage gaps in their workplaces. These groups will include CEDAW, SEIU, Thomas Merton Center, and the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN).

Young says Equal Pay Day, and the effort to close the gender wage gap, is about more than economics—it is about justice and social equality. “The goal of the Women and Girls Foundation is to gain gender equity for women and girls,” she says. “The Equal Pay Day rally is an excellent opportunity for women and men, and their sons and daughters, to learn about the issue, and to be inspired to take action.”

To learn more about the Equal Pay Day rally, including joining the online photo gallery of those holding a “Will Work for Equality” sign, visit the Women and Girls Foundation rally page or the event’s Facebook page.

'Burgh-loving Jonathan Wander (Twitter: @jmwander) has written for various publications including Men’s Health, and has gratefully guest-posted on amazing sites like That’s Church.