WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) recognizes Equal Pay Day at a time when working women have been disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Progressive activists and Democrats falsely tout Equal Pay Day as the day when American women earn enough to make up last year’s wage gap and use the occasion to assert that women still face overwhelming discrimination in the workplace, calling for greater regulation of American workplaces and more litigation. IWF recognizes that instances of workplace discrimination occur, even though the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 forbid it, but rejects the logic to use statistic differences in pay to paint women as a victim class and expand government.
But the reason women have been hard-hit has nothing to do with the wage gap or workplace discrimination. Rather, women have been hardest hit by COVID-19 job losses because they have taken on the brunt of childcare responsibilities—especially caused by child care and public school closures—and disproportionately work in industry sectors like hospitality and entertainment. In fact, between February and November 2020, more than 2.2 million women lost their jobs.
“Despite what the left would like you to believe, the wage gap is not a measure of workplace discrimination because it does not take job-related factors into account,” said Carrie Lukas, president of Independent Women’s Forum. “Oftentimes, when factors such as occupation, level of education, number of years in the workforce, hours worked per week, and risk on the job are taken into account, the so-called wage gap disappears.”
“To truly help American women this Equal Pay Day, we need to reopen our society—particularly our public schools—and get women back into the workforce. Additionally we need to reject the reams of new red tape being proposed by Progressives and which threaten to destroy flexible work,” Lukas added.
Today, Patrice Onwuka, director of IWF’s Center for Economic Opportunity, will sit before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform as a witness on the “Honoring ‘Equal Pay Day’: Examining the Long-Term Economic Impacts of Gender Inequality” hearing. To read her testimony, click HERE.
Independent Women’s Forum is dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance freedom, opportunities, and well-being.