Obama: ultimate ladies man

Eleanor Fishbourne

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Although Obama is nearing the end of his time as president, he is still kicking butt and taking names. It is the anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and Obama has announced new rules for closing the gender pay gap. This issue has been extremely prevalent for a long time and finally changes are being made. Now, women can start getting proper compensation for their hard work.

Lilly Ledbetter, a feminist inspiration, fought for her rights after being told she had waited too long to file a complaint about being paid unequally compared to her male colleagues. Ledbetter had worked at a tire shop for over 20 years before realizing that she was being paid thousands of dollars less than her male counterparts for the same work. The Lilly Ledbetter Act expanded the length of time an employee can file a discrimination lawsuit and later became the foundation and inspiration for Obama’s new equal pay rules.

According to Obama’s new rules, companies with over 100 workers will be required to report how much they pay employees based on gender, race and ethnicity to the federal government. These new rules will be instrumental in figuring out if women are being short changed whilst navigating the reasons behind the wage gap. Finally, companies will be held accountable for their neglect of female workers, which is a huge step on the road to complete equality of the sexes.

Since women make up almost 50 percent of the labor workforce, this wage gap can no longer be ignored. Special attention and emphasis is being paid to women of color since they make marginally less than other women when compared to how much white men earn.

Obama stated, “a typical black working woman makes only 60 cents. [A] tyypical Latina woman makes only 55 cents for every dollar a white man earns. And that’s not right.”

The president is also pushing Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act which should close the detrimental loopholes in the Equal Pay Act of 1963. According to the U.S. News & World Report, one of the main things that the Paycheck Fairness Act will work at is “prohibiting companies from taking retaliatory action against employees who raise concerns about gender-based wage discrimination.”

These new rules are hopefully the answer to the age-old problem that all unfairly paid women have always experienced. It is the 21st century and women are no longer content with being treated and compensated as if they are lesser than their male coworkers.

In the past, men have been the bread-winners and women have been the cake bakers and baby makers, but this is no longer the reality. As the tides continue to change and women are embracing their independence, it is about time that their wages reflect it.