Washington —In honor of Equal Pay Day today, a new video of a synchronized flash mob’s rally in front of the Lincoln Memorial was released to express support for paycheck fairness. Droves of fair pay activists gathered to film the short dance video, sponsored by the Center for American Progress Action Fund and the American Association of University Women, to highlight the pay disparity in the United States, 48 years after the Equal Pay Act was signed into law.
Mothers and daughters, couples, students, and retirees all came together to dance for a cause that affects all American workers.
Currently women earn on average 77 cents of every dollar a man earns, and the narrowing of the pay gap has stagnated over the past decade. Just one year out of college, working women already earn less than their male colleagues earn, even when they work in the same field with the same degree. The pay gap also has a greater effect on women of color. In comparison to a white men's dollar, African-American women earn only 69 cents and Latinas just 59 cents.
“The enthusiasm displayed by the dancers expresses the relevance and importance of this issue. Half a century is too long to wait for fair pay for all Americans, and this unconventional way of highlighting that fact is a step in the right direction to raise awareness of the ongoing wage disparity that needs to be addressed,” said Center for American Progress Action Fund Senior Economist Heather Boushey.
“It’s no coincidence that the flash mob was held in front of the Lincoln Memorial, a long-held symbol of the civil rights movement in America,” said AAUW Executive Director Linda Hallman, CAE. “From Fortune 500 companies to the women of Wal-Mart, from Washington state to Washington, D.C., women are systematically underpaid. We will continue to fight for fair pay, with flash mobs, strong research, grassroots advocacy, whatever else we can get our hands on to make a difference.”
Today, two measures will be introduced in Congress. The Paycheck Fairness Act will be introduced by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT). Another bill, the Fair Pay Act, will be introduced by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC).
The Center for American Progress Action Fund is the sister advocacy organization of the Center for American Progress. The Action Fund transforms progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world. The Action Fund is also the home of the Progress Report.