Wednesday, June 10, 1998


Equal pay is not a political issue. It is not even a gender issue. It is, at heart, a national issue, a family issue, and a matter of principle -- a question of what kind of country we want America to be today and in the 21st Century.

President Bill Clinton
June 10, 1998

Today, President Clinton, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vice President Al Gore, and Tipper Gore come together to commemorate the 35th Anniversary of President Kennedy's signing of the Equal Pay Act, and to urge passage of legislation to strengthen the laws that prohibit wage discrimination against women. In addition, the President will also announce the release of two reports providing current and historical data on the wage gap between men and women.

A Continuing Need To Address The Wage Gap. The President will release the results of a Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) report showing that the gender gap in wage earnings has closed 29 percent since 1963, and that the gender gap has narrowed among younger women and married women with children; however, the wage gap persists, women earn only 75 cents for every dollar earned by men. The President will also release the results of a Department of Labor report that provides a perspective of the thirty-five years since the Equal Pay Act was enacted. This report shows that:

A Call For Improved Enforcement Of Wage Discrimination Laws. The President calls on Congress to pass legislation introduced by Senator Tom Daschle (D-SD) and Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) which strengthens current laws. The legislation includes the following provisions:

Presidential Leadership To Ensure Equal Pay. The President firmly supports the Daschle-DeLauro measure. It is tough, fair, and equitable and goes a long way toward ensuring that as our nation moves forward into the 21st Century, equal pay will be a reality for all women who enter the workforce.

Statistics on Equal Pay:
Female Labor Force Participation Rate by State, 1977 and 1997
Gender Pay Gap by State, 1997

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