Taking A Stand, One Voice At A Time

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Taking A Stand, One Voice At A Time

By Kelly Skinner
Director of Development, YWCA of Cortland

Kelly Skinner
Kelly Skinner

Racism impacts the lives of women creating social division and power structure, which limits opportunities for women in all areas of their lives. Women fight for equal education, health, protection against victimization, (both at home and in society) and take a stand against the social structures that sustain discrimination and exploitation. As the month of April combines two significant recognition days, April 20th as Equal Pay Day and today’s, Stand Against Racism, it’s of great interest that women continue to fight 51 years after the Equal Pay Act when women average 77 cents earned for each male dollar. African American women are less at 69 cents and that number continues to drop even more to 57 cents for Hispanic women.

Women are taking on leadership roles in their careers, their communities and their households with nearly 40% of women being the “bread winner” of the family. We are experiencing national and global movements encouraging women to pursue leadership roles, and women are stepping up, even with the 23 cent, 31 cent, and 43 cent differences in pay when compared to male leaders. Sheryl Sandberg, the Chief Operating Officer of Facebook, published “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead,” for women to help them achieve their professional goals, and men to contribute to a more equitable society. Women are creating circles all over the world to empower and support each other.

What can we do to eliminate the pay differences for women? In June 2013, New York Legislature failed to pass the proposed 10-point Women’s Equality Act (item #1: Achieve Pay Equity). The legislation to date is not enough to move the Women’s Equality Act forward. We can collaborate, share, learn more, talk to our State Senators and get involved. Bring awareness to your communities through events, social media groups and encourage women to take a stand.

April 20th Equal Pay Day was celebrated at the YWCA of Cortland by collaborating with local establishments and restaurants that sold their goods at 23 cents less to support equal pay for women and to bring community awareness to the challenges women still face in the workforce today.


Follow the YWCA of Cortland on Twitter: @ywcacortland

sar_logoThis post is part of the YWCA Stand Against Racism blog carnival-we invite you to join the dialogue! Post your comment below, share your story and follow the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #standagainstracism.

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