The Price for Fair Pay

By Samantha Mc Lane

Equal Pay Day is a movement that aims for the benefit of all working women in the United States without exception. However, as incredible as it is that gender inequity still persists in this century, inequity and differences remain between races, national origin and legal status. The statistics say it: Latinas earn 52 cents for every dollar paid to white men and even less than Latin men, falling in the most underpaid group.

Why? Besides living under cultural stereotypes, people underestimating our capabilities and intelligence, difficulties in accessing benefits programs for ourselves and our family, and fear of deportation in case of illegal immigrant women. Even if we are lucky enough to get a job, why should we be receiving less salary than anybody else?

We Latinas are at the bottom of the ladder but there is the possibility to go up. We can begin by taking interest because our work, time, personal and professional projects and our lives are worthwhile. If we don´t care, no one else will.

It is a fact that to achieve the goal not only is it necessary to deconstruct cultural and systemic ideologies about women’s condition, social institutions, to question authority and the use of power, but also to take advantage of these kinds of opportunities in the legal field to strengthen equal pay laws including the Lilly Ledbetter Equal Pay Act, the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Equal Pay Act. It is an excellent opportunity to use the regulations that this country provides, thanks to the efforts of many women that have fought before, and to keep reminding and raising social awareness of this situation.

We have a voice, let´s use it to be recognized. Get informed about the actions to be done, get in contact with other women, people and groups interested in the subject, be active and demand equal payment because we have the right.