“Women of America: Put your lipstick on, square your shoulders, suit up and get ready to fight,” said Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD). Last week, the Democrats were optimistic about a future without pay discrimination, regardless of race, age or sex.
Why? The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This act would have amended the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include pay discrimination as an unlawful employment practice. However, the backwards Republicans of the 110th Congress successfully blocked the passage of this act last week, once again limiting the progress of human rights in the United States.
Ledbetter sued Goodyear Tires and Co. after she realized that she had been paid less than her male counterparts for the 19 years she was a manager at the company. However, her complaint violated the company’s 180-day complaint policy.
Ledbetter claimed that the policy violated the Civil Rights Act. However, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Goodyear Tires and Co. in Lilly Ledbetter vs. Goodyear Tires and Co. After the conclusion of the case, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was introduced in Congress. The act passed the Democratic-majority House but stalled in the Senate.
In a world in which we think that human rights and women’s rights are improving, actions like these prove otherwise. While the Democrats are fighting for things like equal pay and equal rights, the Republicans are squashing their every attempt toward progress.
How does this affect the common woman? Women must look pretty and prim, work hard at work and at home and still get less. It is not a myth. On average, women earn 70 percent less than men. Studies show that countries with more educated and more working women are more developed. Micro-lenders give money to the women in impoverished societies because they not only participate in the global market but also provide nutrition and education for their children.
Men, on the other hand, are more likely to spend their money on a night out than on their families. If women were paid as much as men, they would spend more money on their children and the local market. This could help our country, as educated and well-nourished children also contribute to the global market and the progress of our nation as a whole.
Resham Parikh is a first-year international studies major. She can be reached at