AAUW to Deliver “Code Red” Message to Congress for Equal Pay Act 50th Anniversary

June 03, 2013


Media Contact:

Amy Becker


Congressional Lobby Day Will Bring Advocates and Families Demanding Fair Pay

WASHINGTON — The American Association of University Women (AAUW)’s volunteer lobby corps will lead a group of fair pay advocates and children through the halls of Congress at 9:30 a.m., June 6, to ask members to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 84/H.R. 377). This day of action will serve to remind Congress of the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act on June 10 and also to demand the act’s promise of equal pay for equal work.

The group of about 75 women and children will be easy to spot. They will wear red and hand out packets of red M&Ms to represent that Congress has left women in the red due to its refusal to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. These M&Ms bear a not-so-sweet message. The candy is custom-printed with wage gap numbers, including 77 cents, because women are paid 77 cents, on average, for every dollar paid to men.

“We are presenting Congress with this very visible reminder of the wage gap’s effects on women and families because Congress has refused time and again to make passing the Paycheck Fairness Act a priority,” said AAUW CEO Linda D. Hallman, CAE. “We hope members of Congress enjoy the M&Ms — but that they do so while figuring out how to immediately move the Paycheck Fairness Act forward.”

The AAUW Action Fund Capitol Hill Lobby Corps and AAUW staffers will be joined in this effort by Alliance for Justice, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, Jewish Women International, MomsRising, the National Council of Jewish Women, the National Council of Women’s Organizations, the National Partnership for Women and Families, the National Women’s Law Center, UltraViolet, and 9to5. For more than 40 years, Lobby Corps members have made weekly visits to Congress to put voices and faces to issues affecting women and girls.

The group will ask House and Senate members to cosponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act and will urge House members to sign on to a discharge petition led by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) that would bring the Paycheck Fairness Act to the floor. The Paycheck Fairness Act would provide a needed update to the Equal Pay Act by protecting employees from retaliation if they share their wages or ask about employers’ wage practices; it would also implement stronger deterrents designed to stop discrimination before it starts.

“Lobby Corps and friends will represent women nationwide who have not received the Equal Pay Act’s promise,” said AAUW Vice President of Government Relations Lisa Maatz. “There’s no better time than now, the law’s 50th anniversary, for Congress to take action on fair pay. The Equal Pay Act opened the door on pay equity; now it is time for Congress to enable women to walk through.”

In addition to this action in Washington, D.C., AAUW members across the country have been delivering some sweet treats of their own. AAUW members have brought cakes with 23 percent missing — to represent the wage gap — to district offices of members of Congress.

Amy Becker By:   |   June 03, 2013