DANBURY, Conn. -- Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty, recognized Equal Pay Day Tuesday by reminding residents the date is important because it symbolizes how far into the new year women must work (combined with their last year's pay) to earn what men earned in the previous year.
Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men's and women's wages.
Esty, who represents the 5th District, which includes much of northeastern Connecticut, including the towns of Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, Newtown and Sherman, released the following statement recognizing Equal Pay Day:
“The gender pay gap is a major barrier to financial security for families throughout Connecticut and the entire nation. Nationwide, women working full-time still make only 79 cents per every dollar that men make. The situation is scarcely better in central and northwest Connecticut, where women are paid only 83 cents on the dollar. For women of color, the disparity is even worse. Pay equity is not simply a ‘women’s issue.’ It’s a problem for our entire economy that makes children of all genders more likely to grow up in poverty. The pay gap makes it harder for women and their families to buy groceries, afford medical expenses, afford college, and save for retirement.
She said Congress must honor its commitment to women and their families with more than empty words by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act and ensure that women have the tools they need to fight workplace discrimination and receive equal pay for equal work.