Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi

Pelosi: ‘It is Time That Women Get Equal Pay for Equal Work’

April 16, 2002

House Democratic Whip Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement at a news conference today on the need to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which is sponsored by Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut.

Thank you, Rosa DeLauro, for organizing this event and bringing to the forefront the issue of pay inequity that woman face in the workforce today. You are a real leader on this and so many other issues of concern to women

Senator Clinton, thank you for your leadership on this important cause- your support is greatly appreciated.

I am so pleased to be among 193 co-sponsors, nearly half the House of Rosa’s bill-the Paycheck Fairness Act. It strengthens the penalties that courts may impose for equal pay violations and these violations happen all the time.

It is unbelievable that today marks how far into 2002 women have to work to earn the equivalent to what men earn in the same job in 2001.

Women pay taxes, join the military, find cures for dangerous diseases, and fly into space. They are heads of households, support their children and in some instances, their parents.

Yet, women who work full-time are paid only 73 cents for every dollar men earn in the same job.

That is just unacceptable-and is the wrong message to send to our daughters and granddaughters. We tell young girls that they can be doctors, astronauts--anything they want to be when they grow up. What we don’t tell them is that their work will be valued less and they will not earn as much as the boys.

If single working mothers earned as much as comparable men, their family incomes would increase by nearly 17 percent, and their poverty rates would be cut in half. Higher incomes would allow them to buy homes, afford health insurance, and provide adequate childcare for their children.

The Paycheck Fairness Act is an effective remedy to women who are not being paid equal wages for doing equal work. It is time that women in the job be treated, valued and given the same respect as their male counterparts.

It is time that American women get the respect that comes with a fair paycheck. It is time that women get equal pay for equal work.

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