San Francisco – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today commemorating the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s signing of the Equal Pay Act:
"On June 10th, 1963, President John F. Kennedy signed into law the Equal Pay Act affirming a woman’s right to equal pay for equal work. Recognizing that our economy depends on women in workplace, he took what he called, presciently, ‘a first step’ to end the ‘unconscionable practice’ of paying women less than men for the same amount of work.
“Unfortunately, 50 years later, despite the crucial role women play in our economy, women still earn less than men – 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. This pay disparity not only affects America’s women, it weakens families and erodes the backbone of our democracy – the middle class.
“That is why the first steps that we’ve taken in supporting women in the workplace cannot be our last. From the Equal Pay Act signed by President Kennedy in 1963 to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act signed by President Obama in 2009, each generation has made strides toward the basic principle of equality in our country. I salute the efforts of Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro to ensure that America’s women – especially our daughters – earn equal pay for equal work and call upon Congress to take the next step by passing the Paycheck Fairness Act. We cannot wait another 50 years to see it become law.”