News, Policy Updates

Press Release:WREN Supports Pay Equity as Solution to COVID-19 Economic Divide   

by WREN Staff on Dec 14, 2020

COLUMBIA, SC – The Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network applauds Representative Wendy Brawley for prefiling legislation that would bring pay equity to South Carolina.   

South Carolina has one of the largest gender and racial pay gaps in the nation and is one of only four states in the nation that does not have laws that explicitly prevent pay discrimination.  A Black woman in South Carolina is typically paid 57.5 cents to every dollar paid to a white, non-Hispanic man. These disparities are harmful to women and to their families, especially because so many households in South Carolina rely on the income earned by women. Two-thirds of women in our state are either the sole or co-breadwinner for their households. The economic consequences of these disparities are even greater in the wake of the COVID pandemic, as women are disproportionately working in high-risk jobs, taking on the burden of caregiving, and suffering unemployment.  

Pay equity legislation is one extremely effective tool to begin to close these stubborn pay gaps. With increased protections against discrimination, South Carolina will be a better place for women to work and live.  

“It is long past time to address the gender pay gap. The COVID-19 pandemic exposed the costs of undervaluing women in the workforce. We have an opportunity to rebuild an economy that works for women. An economy that works for women works better for us all,” said Ann Warner, CEO of the Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network.  

A study conducted by WREN and the National Women’s Law Center in January 2020 found that pay equity is an issue that most voters support.  In fact 94% of respondents, a bipartisan majority, said pay equity for women should be a legislative priority.  

 “The time for pay equity is now,” said Warner.  “Legislators in South Carolina have the opportunity to deliver a solution that would improve the economic well-being of every family.” 

 Media wishing to receive additional information can contact Courtney Thomas at or 864-525-9067.    

About WREN  

The Women’s Rights and Empowerment Network (WREN) is a South Carolina nonprofit, non-partisan network that is building a movement to advance the health, economic well-being, and rights of South Carolina’s women, girls, and their families. WREN provides a strong, collective voice for South Carolina’s women, girls, and gender expansive people.  Learn more at 



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