Women rally for equal pay at Daley Plaza
April 17, 2012 6:40PM
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle chats with an aide before attending a rally to celebrate National Equal Pay Day in the Daley Center plaza on April 17, 2012. | Brian Jackson~Sun-Times
Updated: April 17, 2012 9:26PM
Chicago-based Women Employed and other women advocacy groups rallied at Daley Plaza on Tuesday, which they declared Equal Pay Day, to call for support of national legislation to help eliminate the gender pay gap.
In Illinois, women were only paid 76 cents to every dollar paid to a man working full-time in 2010 — 1 cent wider than the nationwide gap of 77 cents to every dollar, according to a report from the National Women’s Law Center. Illinois women are paid $11,911 less per year than men, the National Partnership for Women & Families said in a separate report.
If the gap were eliminated, full-time working woman in the state could afford to pay for groceries for more than two years, buy more than 3,100 gallons of gasoline, pay mortgage and utilities for seven more months, pay rent for 14 more months and buy family health insurance premiums for three more years, according to the National Partnership report.
The gender pay gap is based on 2010 median earnings of full-time, year-round workers reported by the U.S. Census Bureau last year.
Women Employed and others are advocating passage of the national Paycheck Fairness Act.
Critics of the act, have said pay disparity is linked to individual choices made by female and male workers, such as women often choosing to take time off of work to have children.