Honoring Latina Equal Pay Day

By Ava Lee-Green

What is Latina Equal Pay Day?

DECEMBER 8, 2022 is Latina Equal Pay Day. For every $1 a white man makes in the U.S., a Latina woman (on average) makes around 54 cents. This means that to make the same amount as their white male counterparts do in one calendar year, a Latina must work another 342 days. That’s almost two full years.  

Latinas make up around 11 million workers in the workforce today but still experience one of the most significant wage gaps among women. On average, a Latina will lose $1,163,920 during her career. This not only has an effect on a woman’s daily life, but also on her family and community. 

Spotlight on Latinas Changing the World Right Now

Peabody Awards – Screenshot from vimeo

Indya Moore is a transgender and non-binary Latinx model. They began modeling at 15 years old and have done work with brands such as Dior and Gucci since then. In 2019, Moore became the first transgender person to be on the cover of Elle Magazine and was named one of Time Magazine’s “100 most influential people” that same year. Her work, such as in the hit TV series Pose, has been an inspiration to transgender people around the world to continue fighting for trans rights and has highlighted the importance of trans representation in media.

Official Supreme Court photo

Sonia Sotomayor is the first Latina to serve as a United States Supreme Court justice. She was nominated in 2009 by former U.S. President Barack Obama and has served on the highest court in the US since. As a SCOTUS justice, she has voted in crucial cases like Obergefell v. Hodges, which led to legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Most recently, she demonstrated her support for women’s rights by voting in dissent in Dobbs v. Jackson. This case ultimately led to the unprecedented overturning of federally legalized access to abortion. 

X Gonzales is an advocate for gun control in the US who rose to national attention following the school shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in 2018. Just three days after the shooting, Gonzales made their viral call-to-action speech “We call B.S.” encouraging young people around the country to put pressure on legislators to change gun control laws. They, along with classmates, led the nationwide March for Our Lives protest on March 24, 2018. That day, an estimated two million people marched to protest the lack of gun control. See their speech from that day here

Maria Teresa Kumar is a Colombian American political rights activist, as well as CEO of Voto Latino, a Latino political organization. After recognizing the inequalities between Latinx people and other communities in the US, she has dedicated her career to empowering the community’s political power. She began working at Voto Latino in 2004 and has worked in increasing voter turnout in the Latinx community ever since. Under her guidance, Voto Latino has played a large role in registering over half a million Latinx people to vote.  

What Can You Do?

Latina Equal Pay Day marks the last ‘Equal Pay Day’ for ethnic minority communities of the calendar year. In the next year, make an effort to raise awareness about this issue by uplifting Latina voices on social media and in your community! You can also support organizations that work on the ground to empower Latinas around the country. 

The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is another solution to the gender wage gap as a whole. It is a constitutional amendment that protects individuals from sex-based discrimination in the workplace, domestic violence and child custody cases, and many other situations. Supporting the fight for the inclusion of the ERA in the U.S. Constitution would help bring us closer to achieving equality in the U.S. 

Latinas have made significant contributions to the U.S. workforce but are still significantly underpaid compared to their white male counterparts. Their work deserves recognition, which can be achieved by closing the wage gap. 

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