Columnist: Equal pay for women still a myth • Patsy Harris, columnist
Equal pay for equal work – such a simple and universal goal, one would think.
Who in the world, these days, would not agree to this statement which affects each working woman, her sisters, her mother and her daughters? Who would think, in the 21st century workplace, that the work value of a man is still superior to that of a woman simply because of gender?
The discussion brings up stereotypical images of the 1950s, women raising the kids and cleaning the house while the men held the real power and made the big decisions. And at work, being a man meant having a higher wage than the
woman in the same office doing the same work.
The battle for pay equity has been long, with President Obama’s 2009 signing of the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act being the most recent triumph. Still, women make 78 cents for every dollar earned by men.
At the second presidential debate, candidate Mitt Romney was asked what he thought about the pay inequity. He went into his now infamous “women in binders” story about hiring women to his staff at the governor’s office. His answer was all about putting women to work, not about their value and pay once they get there. There was nothing in the answer about how much his female staff was paid compared to the males.
So much of the debate during this presidential election season concerns economic security for women. Women are still fighting to gain control of their own lives and their own bodies, such as men have of theirs, and look to the 21st century government to guarantee equal rights and to a leader who will advocate for them.
Who in the world would brush aside a question about pay equity for American women? Mitt Romney.
Patsy Harris is a member of the Morgan County Democratic Committee and Chairman of the 10 th Congressional District for the Democratic Party of Georgia.
Printed in the October 25, 2012 edition