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The numbers don't tell the full story

Yesterday was Equal Pay Day, which marks the extra time it takes women in the workforce to earn what was earned by men in the previous year.

Now, there's a persistent myth that makes the rounds whenever the gender pay gap is discussed: the idea that the wage gap is caused by women pursuing different careers, prioritizing different things, or making different choices. This has been proven untrue many times, but regardless, the myth persists.

Gender and race intersect in a way that leaves some women a lot further behind others. For example, white women in Massachusetts earn on average $0.84 to every dollar a white man makes.

But that's not the full story.

Black women earn only $0.58 for every dollar, and Latina women earn only $0.53. These numbers are a direct result of prejudice and the lack of equal opportunity in our economy. The impacts of these disparities are profound, with 27.5% of single mothers living in poverty in Massachusetts.

Looking at the evidence, it's clear that women don't make less money because of their choices: they make less money because their work is undervalued and their backgrounds are held against them as justification for discrimination.

As a member of Congress, I have a responsibility to govern in the interest of all of my constituents. That means taking up issues like this one, which make it increasingly difficult for women of all backgrounds to make ends meet – and get ahead.

It's important that we commit ourselves to fulfilling our country's promise of liberty and justice for all.

Yours in the fight,


Posted on March 13, 2024.

Meet Jim

Jim McGovern represents the 2nd District of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He has earned a national reputation as a tireless advocate for his district and as a champion for food security, human rights, campaign finance reform, social justice and peace.

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