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Rallying for Wage Equality

Tuesday is National Equal Pay Day, and a rally in downtown Pittsburgh's Market Square today marked the first of several events that will be occurring across the region in order to raise awareness about economic injustice.

The Women and Girls Foundation, New Voices Pittsburgh, and the American Association of University Women hosted today's rally. This year's theme for Equal Pay Day is "Economic Justice for All," and Heather Arnett, Chief Executive Officer for the Women and Girls Foundation, says there is more to the issue than the gender wage gap.

"Federal and state budget cuts to child care subsidies are impacting women's economic security, a tax on women's access to health care impacts women's economic security, transportation crisis impact women's economic securities," Arnet said. "We're going to talk about all of those things today, not just the wage gap because they're all so connected."

Arnett adds that since the first Equal Pay Day rally in 2005, there has been progress, but more needs to be made.

"The wage gap here was 69 cents on the dollar and the national average was 81 cents [in 2005]," Arnett said. "Now, the national average is still 81 cents, but here in Pittsburgh we're making 75 cents per dollar."

Pittsburgh City Council is due to recognize Equal Pay Day on Tuesday, and propose to the city controller to conduct audits of all city employers in order to evaluate equality of wages.

"We still have a road to go," Arnett said. "But change is possible."