When the Equal Pay Act was signed into law by Pres. John F. Kennedy in 1963, women were earning an average of 59 cents on the dollar compared to men.
Women are working in nearly half of today's jobs, and their earnings are a significant portion of the household income that supports their families. However, they’re still experiencing a gap in pay compared to men's wages for similar work.
Today, women earn about 81 cents on the dollar compared to men. For African-American women, Latinas, and older women the pay gap is even more. This pay gap results in hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost wages.
The purpose of National Equal Pay Day is to mark the anniversary of the signing of the Equal Pay Act, and bring attention to what needs to be done so that the act is being carried out.