It's been 50 years since President
Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act, but its goals today stand unrealized.
In 2013, full-time working women still make less than men on average.
This morning, President Obama spoke at an event to mark the anniversary.
"The day that the bill was signed into law, women earned 59 cents for
every dollar a man earned on average, he said. "Today, itís about 77
cents. So it was 59 and now itís 77 cents. Itís even less, by the way,
if youíre an African American or a Latina. So I guess thatís progress,
but does anybody here think thatís good enough?"
The President has made tackling this issue a priority since his first
day in the White House. The first bill that President Obama ever signed
was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. His administration was the first
to create a White House Council on Women and Girls. He launched a
National Equal Pay Task Force to help crack down on violations of equal
pay laws, and earlier this year, he signed a presidential memorandum
directing the federal government to close the gender gap for its
there's more work to do -- like passing the Paycheck Fairness Act,
training more women for careers in science, technology, and math, and
making sure that businesses offer parents the flexibility they need to
excel in their jobs and care for their children.
"This will be part of our broader agenda to create good jobs and to
strengthen middle-class security, to keep rebuilding an economy that
works for everybody, that gives every American the chance to get ahead,
no matter who you are or what you look like, or what your last name is
and who you love," the President said.