Wage gap concern for District men and women

Frank Rivera, a Washington, D.C. resident and American University alumnus, feels that wage gaps between men and women in the United States are unfair.

“It disturbs me, of course,” Rivera said. “When we talk about justice and this happens. I feel helpless, frustrated, and anger.”

White women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by a white man. But the National Organization for Women says that number may actually be worse for women in the United States. For minorities, the gap is even wider.

Richard Hawkins, 40, who lives in D.C., said there should be a law put in place to prevent the wage gap between men and women.

The Equal Pay Act of 1963  “prohibits sex-based wage discrimination between men and women in the same establishment who perform jobs that require substantially equal skill, effort, and responsibility.

Wage gap

Women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns in the United States. Photo credit Olivia Azulay.

But many interviewed this week said that isn’t doing enough.

“Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you should be deprived of employment rights,” Rivera said. “Maybe employers should be monitored, they should be held accountable.”

Katherine Schwartz, a 20-year-old who recently returned from studying abroad in Sydney, Australia said the wage gap is unfair.

Schwartz feels especially angry about the potential to earn less than a man for the same work. She wants to be a mechanical engineer, a career she sees as male-dominated.

“It’s frustrating,” Schwartz said, adding the gap is a “systematic issue since women started joining the workforce.”