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April 3 2019

'Equal Pay Day' Perpetuates the Mythical Gender-Wage Gap

The Federalist
featuring Carrie L. Lukas

The Left is at it once again, making victims of the freest, most prosperous women in the world. Yes, I’m talking about us—American women.

In honor of Equal Pay Day, Mother Jones claimed the pay gap costs women $840 billion every year. CNBC reported it represents a $1 million shortfall for “some women.”  But as our Thursday BRIGHT editor Inez Stepman wrote in The Daily Caller, this isn’t really true.

“The Department of Labor compiled more than 50 peer-reviewed studies and concluded that the often-cited 77 cents on the dollar gap — calculated by comparing the average female wage with the average male one — was ‘almost entirely’ the result of differing career choices rather than discrimination,” she wrote, adding:

Despite earning more degrees than their male counterparts, American women continue to frustrate left-wing feminists by making different work-life balance decisions. When given the same choices as men, women select different fields of study, value flexibility over salary, work fewer hours, and avoid physically dangerous employment.”

Four out of five of the top-paying college majors have large majorities of male students, while the reverse is true of the five lowest-paid majors, where women boast large majorities in all but one. Women take about twice as many unpaid hours off, and men work 83 percent more overtime. And a plurality of mothers with young children still report that their ideal situation involves part-time, not full-time, work.

More quick facts, from the Independent Women’s Forum:

  • Wage discrimination is illegal and has been in the U.S. since 1963, when the Equal Pay Act was signed into law.
  • The 1964 Civil Rights Act also protects women from baseless gender discrimination in the workplace.
  • “Equal Pay Day” is based on a misleading interpretation of wage data.
  • The wage gap doesn’t take into account variables like profession, education, experience, benefits, work conditions, or hours worked.
  • And it doesn’t compare men and women with the same jobs, experience, training, or hours.
  • The wage gap is not a measure of “equal pay for equal work.” Instead, it’s largely a reflection of individual choices about work among women and men.
  • When controlling for relevant factors, the pay gap shrinks to $0.98.

The irony is that on the same day progressives claim they’re advocating for women, they’re actually advocating to erase women with the Equality Act, which would treat womanhood as a mutable feeling rather than an immutable fact. Here are 7 reasons why the Equality Act is anything but.


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Independent Women's Forum is an educational 501(c)(3) dedicated to developing and advancing policies that aren’t just well intended, but actually enhance people’s freedom, choices, and opportunities. IWF is the sister organization of the Independent Women’s Voice.​
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