FRANKFORT, Ky. (April 16, 2012) – The Kentucky Commission on Women has again joined the national effort to raise awareness about the wage gap between men and women by participating in “Pay Equity Day.”
Pay Equity Day or Equal Pay Day is designated Tuesday April 17, because this date symbolizes how far women must work into the calendar year – three months on average – to earn as much as men earned in the previous year.
“Although Kentucky has improved its statistics, we must continue our efforts to build awareness about pay equity,” said Eleanor Jordan, executive director of the Commission. “It’s important to make it clear this is not just a ‘woman’s issue.’ Fair pay is a family issue. When the economic status of women is elevated, everyone benefits because we are one-half of the population.”
The Commission encourages men and women to wear something red April 17 to symbolize that Kentucky women are still in the red.
Census statistics released in September 2011 indicate little change in pay equity. Year-round, full-time working women in 2010 earned only 77.4 percent of the earnings of year-round, full-time working men.
Full-time working Kentucky women earned 77.3 percent of the earnings of Kentucky men (calculations based on 2010 American Community Survey data), according to the National Women’s Law Center.
The Commission’s “Pay Equity Toolkit” is available online at www.women.ky.gov to any organization or individual interested in hosting awareness activities. The toolkit contains a pay equity factsheet, Kentucky pay equity statistics, suggested activities, a sample letter to the editor and an historical timeline of the battle for equal wages in America.
Events around the Commonwealth to emphasize the wage disparity between men and women include:
• Daviess County Courthouse: Tuesday at noon, local elected officials, organizations and board members of the Kentucky Commission on Women will gather for observance of Pay Equity Day. Judge-Executive Al Mattingly will present a Pay Equity Day proclamation. Participants are encouraged to wear red
• Madisonville Community College: To highlight Equal Pay Day in Hopkins County, Madisonville Community College, local board members of the Kentucky Commission on Women and the Hopkins County Business and Professional Women have organized an informative program about pay equity Tuesday from 12:15 p.m. to 1 p.m. in the student Center. Humanities Professors Chandy Melton and Sarah Oglesby will speak on the history of pay equity and the inequity that still exists between men and women.
• Northern Kentucky University: Northern Kentucky University’s Panhellenic Council is hosting a Pay Equity Awareness Campaign Tuesday, including a pay equity information table in the Student Union Building from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and a Pay Equity Day march through the campus at 12:05 p.m. March participants will meet in the Student Union lobby at noon. NKU students are encouraged to participate and bring signs.