Following is the statement of Democratic Party of Wisconsin Executive Director Maggie Brickerman on the 50th Anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.
“Fifty years ago, when women earned 59 cents to a man’s dollar, President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law as a first step in addressing income inequality.
“Today, that gap hasn’t even narrowed by half, with women still making just 77 cents to a man’s dollar.
“Equal pay for equal work would be the biggest economic stimulus our country could have. If women were paid equally to men for comparable work, there would be $200 billion more circulating in the national economy. Wisconsin women would spend that money here in Wisconsin communities, helping to stimulate our floundering economy, and improve our 44th in the nation job creation ranking.
“Instead of continuing the work of closing the pay gap, Scott Walker has eliminated statewide pay equity protections, which allowed victims of discrimination access to state courts to seek less-costly redress.
“Motivated by a rigid political ideology, Scott Walker has rejected $1.1 billion in federal funds to expand Medicaid, forcing tens of thousands of women off of healthcare.
“Scott Walker completely defunded the state’s successful BadgerCare Family Planning Program, which currently provides cervical and breast cancer screening and access to birth control for 74,000 Wisconsin women.
“And today, Scott Walker Republicans are fast-tracking legislation that greatly restricts women’s access to safe, legal abortion, after their efforts last week to make it harder for women to access legally-prescribed birth control. Fifty years later, women are re-fighting the battles our mothers and grandmothers already settled.
“But Wisconsin women won’t stand for these attacks on our rights. Scott Walker Republicans continue their extremist anti-women agenda at their own peril.”