By Meghan Keenan

Despite the left’s claims that the Equal Pay Act – which turns 50 Monday – doesn’t go far enough to create gender parity in the workplace, the truth is that there are many reasons that women and men earn different salaries, none of which deal with unfair treatment.

The act requires employers to give women and men equal pay for equal work. Taking up the cause of gender parity in the workplace, the Obama Administration has continually attempted to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that would expand the scope of the 1963 legislation. Congress has rejected the bill twice, in both 2010 and 2013. He did manage to get Congress to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009, however.

“Women are now the primary source of income for nearly 40 percent of American families,” Obama said in a speech on the act Monday. “If they’re bringing home more of the income and that income is less than a fair share, that means that families have less to get by on for childcare or health care, or gas or groceries.”

“So this is the 21st century; it’s time to close that gap,” he added.

What Obama and his cronies don’t understand, however, is how misleading their favorite statistic – that women make 77 cents to every dollar that men make – really is. Men often make higher salaries because of various biological, social and cultural differences cause men and women to view the world differently and gravitate towards different career paths. It just so happens that men often choose more lucrative career paths than women.

“This is comparing apples to oranges,” Sabrina Schaeffer, executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum, told Red Alert Politics. “A women working full-time as a nurse is going to, by definition make less than a full-time computer programmer.”

Schaeffer added that if you control for all factors, the real wage gap between men and women when comparing the same jobs is somewhere around six percent or less. 

She even noted that the Paycheck Fairness Act could actually do more harm than good for women in the workplace.

“One of the problems with the law is it would require much more systematization of wages and workplace regulations,” she said. “Salaries would be tied to titles that often don’t represent a worker’s productivity,” adding that the regulation from the law would make women more threatening for employers to hire because they will be more open to discrimination lawsuits.

Learn more about the truth of the Equal Pay Act from the IWF’s “Straight Talk About the Wage Gap” video below.