Pay Equity Now!
The National Organization for Women has a long history of supporting equal pay and comparable worth. In 2001, the National Conference adopted a resolution to support the Pay Equity Now! petition, which was developed by the International Wages for Housework Campaign together with Philadelphia NOW, Pennsylvania NOW and the Philadelphia Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW). We are asking activists to sign this petition to demonstrate their support.
WHEREAS the US government opposes pay equity – equal pay for work of equal value – in national policy and international agreements (i.e. the ILO Convention, CEDAW, and the Beijing Platform for Action); and
WHEREAS in the US, the richest, most powerful nation on earth, women's average pay has dropped from 76% in 1992 to 73% of men's wages, 62.6% for Black women, 53.1% for Latina women; and
WHEREAS women are often segregated in caring and service work for low pay, much like the housework they are expected to do for no pay at home; and
WHEREAS closing the wage gap between women and men cannot be achieved without revaluing the responsibilities and skills women use in their work compared to what men use in theirs;
WHEREAS underpaying women is a massive subsidy to employers that is both sexist and racist;
WHEREAS by opposing pay equity in international forums, the US government encourages multinational corporations to underpay women everywhere in the global economy; and
WHEREAS the US – the only wealthy country where women get no paid maternity benefits or leave – also opposes international agreements which call for other financial benefits for women, including paid breastfeeding breaks; and
WHEREAS all women, particularly mothers, who do the vital but unpaid job of caring for children and/or other dependents, are penalized by getting the lowest pay when they go out to work and are discriminated against in such areas as pensions, health care, and social security credits, among others; and
WHEREAS pay equity is a major step toward revaluing all women’s work, raising all women's wages and status, and establishing all women's entitlements;
THEREFORE we the undersigned demand that all branches of the US government stand with women, the vast majority of whom are overworked and underpaid, and
1) withdraw all objections to – and actively endorse – pay equity and maternity care provisions for all women;
2) Sign, ratify and implement provisions in international conventions entitling women to the pay and benefits they have earned many times over.
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