Today, August 22, 2018, is Black Women’s Equal Pay Day. While August 22 may seem like an arbitrary date, it actually marks how long a black woman has to work into 2019 to catch up to the same amount a white man made in 2018.
That’s 20 months and ~$.63 to every white, non-hispanic male dollar, folks.
On average, it takes women 16 months to reach equal pay as celebrated earlier this year on April 2. The problem with National Equal Pay Day is that there aren’t nearly enough factors taken into consideration. If we were all just men or just women, this would give us information to sneeze at, but as complex and multifaceted individuals it does not begin to cover economic disparities between different types of people.
The tea on other demographics
For example, it takes Native American Women 21 months with an Equal Pay Day of September 23, 2018 at $.58 and Latin American Women 23 months with an Equal Pay Day of November 20, 2018 at $.53. Twitter is always brimming with tweets under the hashtag #BlackWomensEqualPayDay and #DemandMore, including this tweet from Huffington Post’s Taryn Finley last year, “Today is #BlackWomensEqualPayDay and despite being among the most educated, fastest growing group of entrepreneurs and overwhelmingly the breadwinners of their families, discrimination is still costing us 38 percent of what we’re owed. This issue is URGENT”.
The differences in wage gaps can offer different repercussions in different familial situations as well. In a single parent household where one person represents 100% of the income, they are already at a significant disadvantage to a two person household. Once that person is identified as a single black woman, the disadvantages increase.
Is there an end in sight?
Unfortunately, it looks like a long wait for the wage gap to close. According to the National Organization for Women (NOW), “at this rate, the U.S. wage gap will not close until 2059.” Can we wait 41 more years to get paid as much as our white male counterparts? Should we have to?