OPINION: Black Girls’s Equal Pay Day 2021: We Demand Our Complete Greenback


At the moment (August 3) is Black Women’s Equal Pay, which is a day that highlights the monetary disparities that Black women expertise that may end up in a large number of unintended penalties.  The Black ladies wage hole is a menace to the economic system, the Black household, and society as a complete. Due to this fact, continued consciousness and our collective activism is required on this second  to demand that Black ladies are paid. 

Earlier this yr, Vice-President Kamala Harris stated, “The burden of making certain equal pay is not on ladies alone. It is on all of us. And equal pay will profit all of us, too. As a result of after we elevate up ladies, we elevate up households, we elevate up communities, and all of society is best off”.

Black ladies dwell on the intersection of racism and sexism, all whereas trying to dismantle white supremacy. Moreover, Black ladies expertise occupational segregation and are funneled into jobs primarily based on gender norms.  Implicit and explicit bias can also be causal proof as to why Black ladies assume roles that aren’t at all times as profitable because the employment alternatives of their white counterparts. 

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Based on the National Partnership for Women & Families, if Black ladies had been paid what we had been owed,  by the course of our lifetimes, we’d be capable of afford:

  • 2.5 years of childcare
  • 156 extra weeks of meals
  • 22 extra months of lease

Everyone knows that Black ladies are the spine of this nation and proceed to indicate up when this nation wants us probably the most, but we proceed to face super discrimination in our each day lives. Now, greater than ever, we’d like our elected leaders to assist Black ladies by serving to to shut the wage hole. This combat would require Black ladies and their allies to advocate for elevated intentionality from employers and transformational coverage change on the native and federal ranges to shrink the hole. 

The disparities in pay are evident as working ladies solely earn 82 cents for every dollar that white males earn, in keeping with the U.S. Division of Labor. Black ladies particularly solely earn 63 cents for every dollar that white males are paid.  On common, it takes Black ladies 19 months to acquire the identical sum of money that their white male counterparts earn in a single yr. 

In 2015, it was reported that the median wealth for single Black single ladies is simply $200, in comparison with $15,640 for single white ladies and $28,900 for single white males. Gender-based pay has been unlawful since 1963 however has thrived in workplaces that deter its workers from discussing their wages.

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Within the workforce, Black women are sometimes pushed out resulting from their unpaid obligations comparable to caregiving. Paid medical depart is usually an incentive for ladies to return to work. Nonetheless, it was reported in 2019 that only 19 percent of employers provided paid household depart, and solely 40 percent provided short-term incapacity. The unpaid obligations Black ladies carry may end up in fewer hours labored.  In some circumstances, they might solely work part-time, which ends up in decrease pay than their counterparts. Congruently, Black moms only earn 50 cents for every dollar {that a} white man earns. 

Shirley Chisholm as soon as mentioned, “Authorized discrimination between the sexes is, in nearly each occasion, based on outmoded views of society and the pre-scientific beliefs about psychology and physiology. It’s time to sweep away these relics of the previous and set additional generations freed from them”. 

 This yr, Black Girls’s Equal Pay Day feels uniquely pressing as a result of COVID-19 has disproportionately impacted Black ladies. Black ladies typically have fewer assets to face up to the hardships related to the pandemic, and more than 1 in 3 Black women are essential workers, and plenty of have misplaced their jobs. This phenomenon is usually known as a “SHE” cession. 

Moreover, Black ladies have additionally struggled through the pandemic to satisfy their fundamental wants, comparable to paying lease and paying for childcare.  The fact is that with out intervention, Black ladies might not attain the financial parity of white males till the yr 2130. Black ladies deserve higher than this and can’t afford to attend for an additional hundred years for equality. Black ladies want daring and quick motion to assist them get better from the pandemic and reenter the workforce. 

Amongst legislative actions addressing truthful pay are the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 and The Paycheck Fairness Act, which simply handed the Home of Representatives this April –  each are nonetheless being thought of within the U.S. Senate. As well as, states comparable to California and New York have been transferring in direction of extra transparency of pay within the office. This is the reason it’s extra necessary than ever that we actively maintain our elected officers accountable to succeed in pay fairness for all ladies.

Black ladies have remained resilient regardless of the adversities that we’ve got confronted. It’s time for the nation to carry us up and pay us our complete greenback as a result of when Black ladies thrive, it results in a ripple impact that impacts your entire nation. 



Glynda C. Carr is the President and CEO of Higher Heights for America, the one nationwide group offering Black ladies with a political dwelling solely devoted to harnessing their energy to broaden Black ladies’s elected illustration and voting participation and advance progressive insurance policies. Observe her on Twitter @glyndacarr.