Back to the Future: Black Women’s Equal Pay is 100 Years Too Late
Mark 2130 on your calendars, it’s set to be a momentous year. Far from being the year we invent time travel, it’s the year Black women are finally projected to close the wage gap and catch up to White men’s earnings. And that milestone is set to arrive 110 years too late.
We mourn and condemn the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and the many others who have lost their lives to police violence and racial hatred. We send our heartfelt condolences to their families and the communities that have been impacted by the loss of their loved ones, and commit to working alongside them until there is justice.
May 3rd is Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Women’s Equal Pay Day—the day an average AAPI woman must work into the new year to make what the average White man made the year prior. Based on the median annual earnings of anyone who worked for pay in 2019 (latest available data), AAPI women earned just 75.5 percent of what White men made: $38,392 compared to $50,849 for White men.[i] The wage gap is narrower when only full-time, year-round [...]
The evidence is clear: Building a strong child care infrastructure is necessary for a prosperous economy. Subsidized child care allows mothers to work more and spend less, resulting in greater savings for retirement and improved economic security later in life. It supports working parents while creating new jobs.
In the United States, a whopping 43 percent of children have a parent who works “nontraditional hours,” or during the early mornings, nights, or weekends. And yet just 8 percent of child care centers offer care before 7am or after 6pm. While families of all types require care during nontraditional hours, Black and Latinx workers and low-income workers are disproportionately more likely to work during nontraditional hours.
In March, academics, researchers, and advocates came together to discuss the future of the U.S. care infrastructure at a conference presented by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, American University's Program on Gender Analysis in Economics, and the Carework Network. Taking stock of the caregiving landscape in the age of COVID-19, panelists focused on the impact of the pandemic, the current policy environment, shifting narratives around care, and the urgent changes needed to create a care system that works for women and families.
Last week, disability rights advocates were joined by caregiving professionals and policymakers at a rally in Washington, DC, to call for much-needed investment in the care infrastructure. Rally participants delivered the call to invest in care—with a focus on home and community-based services and living wages for direct care workers—at an important moment, as Congress continues to debate legislature that would provide critical funding like the Build Back Better Act and its reincarnations.
“College campuses were not designed with student parents in mind.” This is now a common refrain echoed among student parent success advocates. It must be acknowledged, too, that the U.S. system of higher education was not designed for women, Black people, anyone parenting while in college, or those who experience life at the intersections of all three of these identities.