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Equal Pay Day: What it is & Why it Matters

equal pay day
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April 4th is National Equal Pay Day. It’s the day in the year women must work to “catch up” to men’s earnings from the previous year. Unlike National Chocolate Day and National Puppy Day, the date changes annually to symbolize how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned the previous year (in 2016 it landed on April 12th). The statistics are worse for women of color: African-American women’s equal pay day will be July 31st; Latina women’s equal pay day will be November 2nd.

According to the Chamber of Commerce, full-time, year-round working women earn about 82% of what their male counterparts earn. The Arkansas Equal Pay Coalition is one of many groups across the country organizing events today to bring attention to this pay gap. For Equal Pay Day, the Coalition recruited businesses and restaurants to charge women 80% of the cost of items and services, or 20% off, to reflect that gap. It’s like a gift for working all those overtime months!

Other areas are doing some pretty cool things, too. In Petaluma, California, folks are having a bake sale where women will receive their yummy cookies as normal and the men will be given cookies with a “bite” taken out of them. Additionally, AAUW’s national headquarters is hosting an “UnHappy Hour” where 20% of proceeds will benefit the women-focused organization.

Look out for Equal Pay Day events in your area. Help us bring awareness to the gender pay gap. You may be given the upper hand today — for once, just for being a woman.

equal pay day

Last modified on April 27th, 2023

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