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Equal Pay Day

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Editor:

This Tuesday, April 4, is equal pay day. Equal pay day is the day when women's earnings add up to men's earnings from the previous year. It may sound like something to celebrate, but it is in reality something that many women do not want to celebrate. Actually, it is something that nobody should have to celebrate ("A Newsroom Without Women," March 16). On average, for every dollar a white man earns, a white woman earns 78 cents, an African-American woman earns 62 cents, and a Latina woman earns 54 cents.

Many large corporations pay men more than women, with reasons like "men are physically stronger and therefore work harder" or "women have to take time off to have children, so they are not as dedicated to their jobs." Both of these claims are absurd, as men should not be labeled as "physically strong" and women should not be labeled as "physically weak." In addition, it doesn't make sense to blame women for needing to take time off to have children. It is a personal choice to have a child and taking time off is not only a lawful right, but also a fundamental need.

Everyone should have equal pay, no matter their gender, race, ethnicity or other attributes. The good news is that this year equal pay day is earlier than it has been in the past. In 2016, April 12 was Equal Pay Day, while in 2010 it was April 20. This means that, however slowly, women's earnings are beginning to catch up with men's. However, we still have a long way to go. It is estimated that it won't be until 2052 that pay is equal for everyone. In the meantime, there are many organizations fighting for equal pay, and many people working hard to achieve it.

Eva Swartz, Arcata

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