The War on Women wages on. And no, I’m not talking about caterpillars.
It’s 2012, and women are still making $0.77 for every $1 a man makes in the same job. And Scott Walker just made that wage gap easier to maintain and harder to prosecute.
On Thursday, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker repealed the state’s Equal Pay law. The law was passed to discourage employers from wage discrimination based not just on sex, but also race, age, and more. The law also made it easier for victims of wage discrimination to prosecute their employers in court. But not Scott Walker; he wants to reverse all that.
Fair pay laws make a difference. Prior to the state’s Equal Pay Act in 2009, Wisconsin ranked 36th for gender parity in the workplace. Following the law, just one year later, it was ranked 24th. But facts don’t matter to Republicans in Wisconsin. State Senator Glenn “Single Parenthood is Child Abuse” Grothman denied there was even a gender wage gap at all.
How much harder are Republicans going to make earning an equal pay for women? They aren’t protecting Equal Pay laws. The US is the only nation in the developed world that doesn't have federally-required maternity leave. And they’re obstructing access to birth control – which has shown to boost women’s wages.
Walker signed the repeal quietly on Thursday, along with a number of other laws – allowing sex education teachers to teach abstinence-only and completely ignore contraception; requiring doctors to consult with a woman seeking an abortion to make sure she isn’t being forced; banning abortion coverage in policies sold through a health insurance exchange (except in cases of rape, incest or medical necessity).
Gov. Walker didn’t even have the courage to tell us publicly he was allowing these ‘War on Women’ bills to become law. Behind closed doors, Gov. Walker has allowed attacks on women’s health care, pay equity and age appropriate sex education to go into law, and he has once again violated the trust of the people. Gov. Walker has turned back the clock for women in Wisconsin. As a woman, as a mother who worked full-time while raising my son, I know first-hand how important pay equity and health care are to women across Wisconsin.
You know, Scott, if it’s something you feel like you have to do in secret, maybe you shouldn’t be doing it at all.
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