Obama commemorates 50th anniversary of Pay Equity Act

June 10, 2013 at 4:13 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 10 (UPI) -- Noting that women in the U.S. workforce earn 77 cents for every dollar men earn, President Obama on Monday called for more action to close the wage gap.

"Until equal pay truly is a reality, we're also here to recommit ourselves to the work that remains to be done," Obama said in comments marking the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.

"Over the course of her career, a working woman with a college degree will earn on average hundreds of thousands of dollars less than a man who does the same work. Now, that's wrong," Obama said. "I don't want that for Malia and Sasha [his daughters]. I don't want that for your daughters. ... I want every child to grow up knowing that a woman's hard work is valued and rewarded just as much as any man's."

When President John F. Kennedy signed the Pay Equity Act into law, he said it was an idea that is "basic to our democracy," Obama said. "It's the idea that all of us are created equal."

"And as I said in my inaugural address this year, our journey to equality is not complete until our wives, our mothers, our daughters can earn a living equal to their efforts," Obama said.

Now is the time to make sure the minimum wage is a livable wage "because 60 percent of those making the minimum wage are women."

"If we do all this," Obama said, "this will be part of our broader agenda to create good jobs and to strengthen middle-class security, to keep rebuilding an economy that works for everybody, that gives every American the chance to get ahead, no matter who you are or what you look like, or what your last name is and who you love," Obama said.

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