As a candidate for Congress, I think it is important to give a voice to those who need help our help. As a woman and a mother, I know the lack of equal pay for women as a critical issue in our community and for our nation’s economy. This year in Illinois, women make 78
I am reminded daily of the importance of women’s participation in the political process. Whether it is supporting a more diverse workplace free of discrimination, funding for public schools, or U.S. involvement in international conflicts, so many issues that we confront would benefit from a diversity of viewpoints that women legislators bring to the discussion.
As a candidate for Congress, I think it is important to give a voice to those who need help our help. As a woman and a mother, I know the lack of equal pay for women as a critical issue in our community and for our nation’s economy.
This year in Illinois, women make 78 cents for each dollar a man makes for the same job. And women of color are being paid even less—African American women make 65 cents per male dollar and Hispanic women earn only 48 cents per male dollar.
But you all know that this wage gap doesn’t just impact women. It hurts families and our entire economy. Many households across our state rely on women’s salaries as all or part of the family income. Paying women less for the same jobs their male co-workers are doing hurts families’ ability to put food on the table, save for retirement, pay for health care or buy a house.
Equal Pay Day, which occurred on April 8th, signifies the day a woman’s wages would catch up to her male counterparts from last year. That is not an exaggeration–women have to work nearly 100 days more to earn the same wage. This is simply unacceptable and the lack of progress on this issue in Washington baffles me.
To start, Congress must pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to ensure women are paid equally to their male colleagues for the same work. It’s also time to raise the national minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. Here in Illinois we know that six in ten minimum wage earners are women, many of whom are head of household. And raising our minimum wage would give more than 630,000 women a raise in our state.
Families across Illinois need a strong voice to advocate for equal pay and other common-sense solutions that help strengthen families and improve our economy. That’s why I’m running for Congress.
Ann Callis, Democratic Nominee for Congress, Illinois 13th District
I am reminded daily of the importance of women’s participation in the political process. Whether it is supporting a more diverse workplace free of discrimination, funding for public schools, or U.S. involvement in international conflicts, so many issues that we confront would benefit from a diversity of viewpoints that women legislators bring to the discussion. Women are over 50% of our country’s population, yet only 19% of the U.S. Congress is female. While women have made great strides in political participation, there is still much more work to be done. Organizations that promote women’s participation, like the Illinois Democratic Women, are important advocates for working families and women across the state. I am proud to stand with you in your efforts.
Women’s rights and equality are crucial because all Americans benefit when women succeed. Women can better support their families and loved ones through equal pay for equal work. For example, currently in Illinois women make on average $12,000 less per year than their male counterparts. A household with a female wage earner then suffers a loss of $12,000 from their income, not only affecting the woman but her entire family buying power. With more access to STEM and higher education, women will contribute even more to our nation in fields like medicine, engineering and public service than they already are. With access to affordable and comprehensive healthcare, women can live without fear of devastating medical bills for their families and themselves. Put simply, when more women are involved in the policy-making process, we will have legislation that better supports women and our families.
Since taking office, I have introduced and cosponsored many bills that support hard-working women. One bill I recently introduced is the Military for Opportunities for Mothers (MOM) Act. The bill extends maternity leave for women serving in the military from 6 weeks to 12 weeks and gives military women the same access to maternity leave that civilian women and federal employees have under the Family and Medical Leave Act. I am proud of the great benefits this will bring to the heroic women serving and protecting our nation in uniform.
Thank you for all that you do. I look forward to working with you to continue to stand up for Illinois women and families. I am confident that our joint efforts will bring much needed improvements to lives all across this great nation.
- Congresswoman Tammy Duckworth
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