Today marks the anniversary of the 19th Amendment which granted white women the constitutional right to vote. The Equal Pay Act of 1963, Civil Rights Act of 1964, and Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 are just some of the laws that have extended protections against
Significant disparities still exist between the wages of men and women. In Maine, women make 79 cents per dollar earned by their male counterparts. This disparity has slowly decreased in Maine, but not entirely due to rising incomes among women. Women’s wages have predominately been stagnant, and declining male earnings have narrowed the gap as some industries traditionally dominated by men have eroded.
That said, industries in Maine with higher representation of women workers, like teaching and nursing, have less of a pay discrepancy between male and female workers. But in industries more dominated by male workers, women workers are paid less equally.
At the current pace, Maine women won’t see equal pay for equal work until 2057. Despite significant advances in civil rights, women still face economic inequality. That’s why the Maine Center of Economic Policy, on this anniversary of the 19th Amendment, calls for Congressional action to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment, which will improve employment and economic security of women nationwide by granting constitutional protections against employment and paycheck discrimination for all women.