Wisconsin Representative Tammy Baldwin, who is running for the senate seat vacated by Democrat Herb Kohl’s retirement, has always made equal rights a key part of her platform. But now she is actively pushing Congress to stop paying lipservice to the idea of equal pay for equal work, and finally eliminate gender discrimination in payrolls once and for all.
Baldwin is launching a new website dedicated to pushing for fair pay, which she has unveiled today. The site allows anyone to add his or her name to a petition demanding Congress pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that will greatly help women ensure fair pay for equal work.
“We passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act for women who have been victims of pay discrimination — now, it’s time to take the next step,” Baldwin said in an email. “It’s time to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure that women have the resources they need. The ability to know they’re being properly compensated. Women shouldn’t have to wait to fight for back pay. They deserve more.”
“The Republican hopefuls for Senate have called the economic and health care issues that are important to women ‘a distraction,’” Democratic Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Maggie Brickerman said Wednesday. “Congressional action on the Paycheck Fairness Act is a test for the Republican candidates. They all need to show Wisconsin women whether they are standing with them, or are they standing with congressional Republicans and putting political partisanship ahead of fairness for the middle class and equal pay for women.”
Although the site and her efforts are focused on Wisconsin women, paycheck disparity is an issue regardless of your state, and Baldwin hopes that the online push will show Congress, especially the Republicans who have been blocking the bill, that women will not be silent when it comes to fairness in the workplace. According to the Center for American Progress, over a 40 year career the average woman makes $434,000 less than men for comparable work. That’s nearly half a million dollars lost just for being female.
The Paycheck Fairness Act will be voted on next week.
Photo credit: TammybaldwinWI on Flickr