" I believe we hold in our hands the power once again to shape not only our own but the nation's future -- a future that is based on developing an agenda that radically challenges limitations in our economic development, educational achievement and political empowerment." - Dorothy Irene Height (March 24, 1912-April 20, 2010)
People like Dorothy Height as well as many others, all stood up for the cause of American freedom and civil liberties. Mrs. Height fought not only for African American civil liberties but for women as well. And with such inspirational people in our history it would seem like we should be past the injustices they worked so hard to fight.
But consider this: The U.S. Department of Education data show that after one year out of school, despite having earned higher college GPAs in every subject, young women will take home, on average across all professions, just 80 percent of what their male colleagues do.
Sex-Based Discrimination as defined by the EEOC is "treating someone (an applicant or employee) unfavorably because of that person’s sex. The law forbids discrimination when it comes to any aspect of employment, including hiring, firing, pay, job assignments, promotions, layoff, training, fringe benefits, and any other term or condition of employment.."
And now, after taking billions of dollars in TARP money, banks are using the recession as an excuse to fire women.
When her boss was laid off last summer, Amy Bartoletti, 38, says she was asked to run a Citi group that securitizes home loans through state authorities. But one of her peers in New York complained, she says, and the bank wound up making him a co-head of the group, asking both to take the Series 53 licensing test, required of managers in the municipal securities business. Bartoletti took the exam and passed in October. On Nov. 21 she was axed, told later by the bank that she was too expensive. Bartoletti contends that she and her male counterpart made the same base salary, $175,000, and that she is more qualified than he. As of late February her co-head, who now runs the group, still doesn't have his Series 53 certification. "It's the old boys' network," says Bartoletti. "It's very hard to imagine that that is what is happening in this day and age. " Text of Lawsuit
Still, similar claims by women who insist they were unfairly fired have been piling up recently at Merrill Lynch , Bank of America and Bank of Tokyo, as well as at Citigroup
I am not really surprised that these things still occur. What surprises me is that people think women will just sit back and not say anything. It isn't raging feminstias and gun toting liberals who fight back. It's women. Women fight back, always have, always will.
Women have been seeking fair pay for a very long time. On March 8th. 1908 female garments workers took to the Manhattan streets protesting against gender discrimination -- demanding equal pay, better working conditions, childcare centers and right to vote. Since then, this day has been looked upon as one of the first mass protests by women right groups and after a hundred years, we need to do some soul searching as to whether the women in today’s world have succeeded in attaining their legal and social rights.
There are small gains. President Obama signed the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009
Until the signing of this act, if someone wanted to bring a case against a company for discrimination based on gender, it needed to be filed no later than 180 days from the time of occurrence. For pay discrimination, the 'occurrence' was when you agreed to a certain pay -- when you were hired. Unfortunately, a person doesn't always know all the pay salaries when being hired or even 6 months (180 days) later making it almost impossible to seek justice for unequal pay. The Fair pay act signed by Mr. Obama said each discriminatory paycheck was an occurrence.
It's important to note that the Ledbetter legislation was held up by a republican filibuster for quite a long time. And there is a trend among the new crop of GOP tea party candidates to believe there should be less of this kind of legislation. An equal day's pay for an equal day's work is not something the businesses funding GOP advertisements are advocating.
It is crucial for our own future that women continue to stand up for their rights. We must vote. And remember that we are not just voting for our equality but for our liberty.
". . . As we move forward, let us also look back. So long as we remember those who died for our right to vote . . . we will walk into the future with unity and strength." - Dorothy Irene Height