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WASHINGTON, D.C. – On November 2, 2017, the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), a coalition of 45 of the nation’s preeminent Latino advocacy organizations, observed Latina Equal Pay Day with more than a hundred women’s rights groups, Latino advocacy organizations, the labor movement, and workers’ rights advocates. November 2, 2017, marks the day when Latina workers’ pay catches up to that of white, non-Hispanic men from the previous year.
Latinas typically earn only 54 cents for every dollar earned by White, non-Hispanic men. Such disparity creates a lasting impact on Latinas, their families, and their communities. Income disparities in Latino households create barriers against accumulating savings, thus influencing areas such as homeownership, retirement, and access to childcare. Latina Equal Pay Day provides an opportunity to recognize these obstacles and understand their impact nationwide.
NHLA advocates for gender equity in the workplace by supporting equal pay for equal work and the enforcement of existing anti-discrimination provisions that prohibit sex-based discrimination in hiring, job placement and segregation, training, and promotions, as well as pregnancy discrimination.
As part of the day’s events, NHLA member Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) hosted the National Latina Equal Pay Day Summit in Washington, D.C. It was a solutions summit that aimed to achieve Latina gender equity. Supporters of Latina Equal Pay Day also spoke out on the issue via social media.
“Wage theft, discrimination, and exploitation continue to drive the 54 cents-to-the-dollar wage gap facing Latina workers across the nation. In addition to these workers, their families and the Latino community as a whole suffers” said Hector Sanchez, Chair of NHLA and Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA). “ NHLA is a proud participant in the campaign to make closure of the Latina pay gap a national advocacy priority. Closing the gap will pay dividends not just for the Latino community, but also for the entire economy of the nation.”
"On average, Latinas will lose over a million dollars over the course of a 40 year career because of the gender wage gap,” said Mónica Ramírez, Deputy Director of LCLAA. “The pay gap that Latinas face is unacceptable and results in long-standing harm for Latinas and their families. The Latina Equal Pay campaign aims to unite workers, community members and national leaders across sectors to achieve equity for Latinas and all workers. As we mark this day, we are not only raising awareness about the Latina pay gap, but we are engaging in real, solution-based conversations and actions to remedy this problem."
“Latinas work hard to make sure they can provide for their families. However, the average Latina only earns 54 cents for every dollar a white, non-Hispanic man makes,” said Eric Rodriguez, Co-Chair of NHLA’s Economic Empowerment and Labor Committee and Vice President of UnidosUS (formerly NCLR). “It is unacceptable that the Latina pay gap still exists. We are proud to participate in Latina Equal Pay Day to raise the issue to greater heights, and to work with our allies to close this gap.”
“It is well past the time that everyone recognize and act to ensure that Latinas, and all women, receive equal pay. Denying Latinas equal pay for equal work leads to increased economic insecurity for Latinas. It also undermines the opportunity to strengthen Latin@ families and communities,” said Patti Tototzintle, Co-Chair of NHLA’s Latina Task Force and CEO of Casa de Esperanza: National Latin@ Network. “Our granddaughters deserve to grow up knowing that the fight for pay equity is not a burden they must continue to carry. This is not about a handout, a gift, or special treatment—this is about equal pay for equal work.”
“Pervasive racial and gender inequalities keep Latinas earning just 54 cents for every dollar paid to white men. Latinas are often the breadwinners for their families and the wage gap makes it nearly impossible for many working families to make ends meet,” said Jessica González-Rojas, Co-chair of NHLA’s Latina Task Force and the Health Committee and Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health (NLIRH). “For Latinas, who already face significant barriers to healthcare, low wages also mean many are forced to forgo essential reproductive healthcare to save money for their families. No woman should have to make unimaginable choices every day such as whether to put food on the table or pay for needed, often life-saving healthcare. Latina women’s ability to make their own decisions about their health, family, and future is inextricably linked to their ability to earn a living wage, work with dignity, and support themselves and their families. I am proud to co-lead the Latina Task Force and support the NHLA as we work to ensure gender equity in the workplace.”