Short Term Priority 2: Close the gender pay gap in Arkansas to provide economic justice for families

the CFC's Priorities for a Better Arkansas

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Dear Friend,

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Equal pay for equal work is a basic civil right, and seems like a common sense statement.

Unfortunately, Arkansas women who work full-time, year-round earn about 75 cents on the dollar compared to men performing similar jobs. Not only is this unfair, it is hurting Arkansas’ families and economy.

In Arkansas, 150,000 households are headed by single women. The gender pay gap can contribute to poor living conditions, poor nutrition, and fewer opportunities for their children.

Businesses and the economy suffer as a result because lost wages mean families have less money to spend on goods and services that support economic growth.

If all working women in Arkansas were paid the same as comparable men, it would add $3.6 billion to the state’s economy. Closing the wage gap would cut the poverty rate in half, increasing financial stability for families and improving our economy as a whole.

This gap is no coincidence. There is a correlation between states with strong equal pay laws and small gender pay gaps, while states with no legal protection tend to have larger gender pay gaps.

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Click Here (https://t.e2ma.net/click/uvorp/68243d/mt930d) to find out how Arkansas' equal pay laws compare to those in other states. 

Arkansas has some legal protections for equal pay in state statutes, but they need to be strengthened. Although we have basic equal pay language, we also have loopholes that allow employers to continue to pay women less than their male counterparts.

Measures should be put in place to protect working women from retaliatory practices and increase pay transparency through collection and availability of earnings data. Communities and businesses should invest in programs and policies that lead to positive changes and upward mobility of women in the workplace.

Achieving gender pay equity can also be addressed by simply requiring employers to compensate men and women equally for jobs with comparable education needs, skills, responsibilities, and working conditions.

Arkansas can, and should, enact legislation requiring equal pay for equal work, and we should start by commissioning a gender pay study for all state employees in 2017.

The study would evaluate whether the state compensation system is free from bias and identify ways to improve fairness. The gender pay study would also be a way to identify and avoid unintended consequences from proposed changes in classification and compensation systems. It would also serve as a model for businesses who wish to address gender pay equity.

Please join the Arkansas Equal Pay Coalition (https://t.e2ma.net/click/uvorp/68243d/2la40d) on Facebook for more information on the campaign. 

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CLICK HERE (https://t.e2ma.net/click/uvorp/68243d/y6b40d) to read The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap Spring 2016 Edition

This guide is designed to empower our members and other advocates with the facts and resources they need to tell the simple truth about the pay gap. It’s real, it’s persistent, and it’s undermining the economic security of American women and their families. We hope you will join us in the fight.

  • Linda D. Hallman 

CAE AAUW Chief Executive Officer

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The Arkansas Citizens First Congress is a grassroots coalition of 61 community groups from across Arkansas that works on progressive reform at the Arkansas Legislature.

The Ten Priorities for A Better Arkansas:

Opportunities to learn for all students

A sound state budget, fair taxes and expanded access to quality health care

The Clean Air & Clean Energy Initiative for Arkansas' Economic Future

Implement the new Arkansas State Water Plan

Decarcerate Arkansas 

Protect Arkansas tenants through fair housing reform

Prevent wage theft

Regulate and reduce line speeds to protect poultry workers

Improve health education to address teen pregnancy and other youth challenges

Close the gender pay gap

1308 West Second Street | Little Rock, AR 72201 US

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