Although Equal Pay Day was in April, the campaign for economic equality in the workforce did not reflect the fight for Black, Asian American, Native American, or Latina women. In fact, the day should be renamed to White Women's Equal Pay Day because it only represents the amount of time a white woman has to work in order to be paid the same as white men. It takes Black women a little longer than that. Black women make 63 cents on the dollar that their white male counterpart makes, and it takes Black women seven months in order to catch up.
The fact that Equal Pay Day gets more awareness than the respective women of color equal pay days is a mere example of non-intersectional feminism at work and how it fails Black women. It also reflects the dual fight of Black women to counteract the systemic powers of racism and sexism that predisposes them not to succeed. Here are three wage gap statistics that prove Black women have a long way to go in their fight for equality:
It takes Black women seven months into 2017 to make what white men made in 2016.
Although white women making 80 cents on the dollar that white men make is scary, the gap for black women is scarier----they make 63 cents on the dollar than their white male counterpart. Black women are at the top five percent of earners in the country, which creates a very gradual wage growth that's perpetuated by gender and racial oppression.
Black women work more hours than white women and are still paid less than both white women and white men.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, the work hours for black women have increased by 18.4 percent since 1979 as the wage disparity between them and white men have increased. The daunting statistic takes a significant toll on single Black women, who have unfortunately become the nucleus of black family. More than half of black children are raised in a single-parent household, and the bulk of that weight falls primarily on black women. In fact, three million U.S. families rely on the income of black mothers. According to the chart, single black women work more hours and get paid less than their white female counterpart.
Black women makes less than their white male counterparts in any field.
Compared to white men, black women face a wage disparity regardless of what occupation they choose to be in. Black women being the most educated demographic in the U.S. clearly doesn't stop them from getting paid less. In fact, as black women have progressed in educational attainment, the wage gap has increased. Thus, it's impossible for black women to educate their way out of the disparity. This is especially true for female-dominated occupations. For service occupations, which is female dominated, the median earnings of black women are below the poverty threshold for a family of four.
As a sophomore in college who plans to thrive in the journalism field, these statistics are troubling, but I have hope that one day black women in this country will be granted the justice they deserve.