Equal Pay Day: Biden and Rapinoe push to close the gender pay gap | Business and economic news

Equal Pay Day – Wednesday, March 24 – marks how hard in the New Year a woman has to work to earn the same pay as the average man earned the year before.

United States President Joe Biden will welcome members of the United States women’s national football team to the White House on Wednesday as part of his efforts to secure better wages for American women, who earn 82 cents in average for every dollar earned by men.

Wednesday is Equal Pay Day, which marks how long before the New Year, on average, American women have to work to earn what the average man earned the year before.

The pay gap is much larger when calculated for black women, who earn 63 cents on the dollar, and Latin women, who only earn 55 cents, and the gap likely widened during the coronavirus pandemic, experts say.

“Equal pay” has become a huge rallying cry for the football team – which was by Megan Rapinoe when she won the Women’s World Cup for the second time in a row in 2019 – and for their fans after the team sued US Soccer, alleging gender discrimination.

The coronavirus pandemic and its economic fallout have exacerbated disparities, triggering what Vice President Kamala Harris has called a “national emergency” for women.

US House of Commons Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the challenges of the past year had inflicted “an additional and devastating toll on American women,” and pledged to pass legislation to end the gap. wage rates and strengthen women’s economic security.

Biden’s $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package includes provisions to put the two million women who left the workforce during the pandemic back to work. Its upcoming legislative initiative, valued at some $ 3 trillion, will also aim to help women by expanding childcare infrastructure and creating jobs, administration officials say.

Heather Boushey, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, told the MSNBC news network that the new package would focus on “making sure women have what they need to be successful in the workplace” , but gives no specific details.

Rapinoe and teammate Margaret Purce will join Biden at the White House, along with other soccer players who will virtually join the event, administration officials said.

Rapinoe told the House Oversight and Reform Committee that the World Cup winners exceeded the achievements of their male counterparts but received inadequate pay and playing conditions.

“They are heroines because they champion this issue for all women,” said Jennifer Klein, co-chair of the new White House Gender Policy Council. “This is really true in virtually every country in the world – women are paid less.”

The team reached an agreement in December with US Soccer on certain working conditions, including travel and accommodation for the team, but are still fighting in court for a salary equal to that of the men’s team. of soccer.

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