Economic Opportunity

Latinas Deserve Equal Wages

by WREN & PASOs on Nov 18, 2016

In South Carolina, and across our nation, women work hard to provide for themselves and their families. However, women face systematic discrimination that devalues their work relative to men. While contributing so much to our state, it is an injustice that women, particularly Latina women, endure the economic hardships that result from the gender wage gap.
Did you know that Latina women, on average, have to work roughly 22 months to make what their white, male counterparts accrued by the end of the twelve month year?

We cannot afford to wait any longer for pay equality. According to the National Women’s Law Center, the wage gap that Latina women experience is much more extensive than the overall gap between women and men. While the collective female average across all races is 80 cents for every dollar paid to a white, male counterpart, the average for Latina women is 54 cents for every dollar paid to a white man. In total, a Latina woman will earn on average a million dollars less than her male counterpart within a forty year span.

This inequity persists across job sectors and pay grades. Even in situations where Latina physicians and surgeons have an undoubtedly similar educational background in comparison to their white, male counterparts, they are still undervalued and undercompensated. Within positions that make $100,000 dollars, the wage gap only slightly narrows at 58 cents per dollar. At what point can a Latina’s efforts and contributions be recognized to the full extent of their worth?

When we limit the potential of Latinas to earn what they deserve in South Carolina, we also undermine the health and economic well-being of their families. Healthy and economically secure moms are the key to healthy and successful homes. To ensure the well-being of future generations, we must learn to promote the well-being of the women who play such crucial roles in the lives of young people.

Until we can ensure that every individual in our state has an equal opportunity to work and earn what they deserve, we cannot see true progress within our communities and states. It’s time we recognize the contributions of all women, and give every South Carolinian a fair chance at achieving economic sustainability.

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