publicidad
President Obama signing an executive order on equal pay laws for women
Sonia Melendez Reyes
Opinión

Deputy director of communications for EMILY's List, the largest organization in the nation for women in politics.

Women’s Income Inequality – Our Story is Yet to be Written

Women’s Income Inequality – Our Story is Yet to be Written

Why aren’t Latinas outraged about income inequality solely because they are women?

President Obama signing an executive order on equal pay laws for women
President Obama signing an executive order on equal pay laws for women


Civil rights icon Dolores Huerta once said, “That's the history of the world. His story is told, hers isn't.” This is the story of every woman and certainly every Latina in the United States. Our stories are untold. Our women legislators are scarce. Our pay is not equal to that of a man.

As an 18 year old budding college freshman, I learned firsthand what equal pay for equal work meant.
I took on my first job as an undercover investigator at a Los Angeles-area retail store to help pay for my college expenses that were not covered by financial aid.

With little to no training, my spy job consisted of working as a sales clerk while secretly serving as an informant on employees suspected of stealing from the store. While the work at times was exhilarating and emotionally draining all at once, I was working on average more than 60 hours per week – at a whopping $9 an hour.

All the while my male counterparts’ workload was much lighter than mine and their salary was twice as much as mine.
During my two-year tenure with this company, more than eight employees were arrested for theft, which saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars. While I was considered a star employee, I never once received a raise, much less a bonus, despite my male counterparts receiving a raise.
In retrospect, it never occurred to me that I should have asked for a raise or for my employer to propose one to me. It didn’t occur to me that I was in fact the only woman on the security team, which was predominantly made of white men.

publicidad

Sadly, my story is fairly common. As a young worker and as a young Latina, I was just grateful to have a job -- never thinking of the value I was bringing to the company or that I was deserving of a raise or promotion despite male counterparts moving up the corporate ladder.

Today, as we mark Equal Pay Day, and draw attention to the continued pay discrepancies between the genders – with women making only 79 cents for every dollar earned by a man – let us not forget that for Latinas, the struggle is alive and real. Latinas only make 55 cents for every dollar earned by a white non-Hispanic man which means their Equal Pay Day does not arrive until November 1, 2016 – some 186 days from today.

This income inequality has a lifetime of consequence for Latinas, their families, and their communities. With more than a million dollar loss in wages over her lifetime, this pay discrepancy directly impacts everything from where she lives, the car she drives, the school her children can attend, and the income she’s able to save for college and retirement.

So why aren’t Latinas outraged about income inequality solely because they are women?

We should be outraged and we should do what we can to fix the inequality. We can start by electing more women leaders at the local, state, and national level that will close the pay gap and bring other issues important to women like paid family leave to the forefront.

This November we have an opportunity to elect Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada as the first-ever Latina senator and add at least three new Latina voices to the House of Representatives. Their voices and stories are desperately needed as they can have a profound impact on public policies that impact every woman in this country.

Dolores Huerta was accurate in saying the history of the world was written by and for a man. It is up to us to make sure that the history yet to be written incorporates the diverse and inspiring stories of women. As women and Latinas, we cannot afford to do anything less.

Disclaimer: We selected this Op-Ed to be published in our opinion section as a contribution to public debate. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of its author(s) and/or the organization(s) they represent and do not reflect the views or the editorial line of Univision Noticias.

publicidad
publicidad
La dreamer y abogada Dulce García y la directora de United We Dream Cristina Jiménez nos dicen por qué estamos en un punto crítico, qué esperan de los republicanos y lo que planean hacer ahora.
After the Trump administration announced the end of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which shields 800,000 young undocumented immigrants from deportation, French artist JR led a project that captured portraits of Dreamers across the U.S. Two photo-booth trucks made several stops so that undocumented youth could add their faces to the series. Univision News followed the journey.
In the span of two weeks, Turks and Caicos was hit by both Irma and Maria. Three of the islands, South Caicos, Grand Turk and Salt Cay, were hit the hardest. As 90% of the economy of those islands depends on tourists, hoteliers organized quickly to clean up the destruction and get their hotels back up and running.
About 75% of Immokalee's population is Latino; agricultural workers earning an average of $1,400 per month, while the most affordable housing costs $1,500 for a mobile home in poor condition. So, each trailer is usually shared by two families, or more. After the passage of Irma, many of these homes were left uninhabitable, but for their undocumented tenants there are no other options.
Some 3.4 million Puerto Ricans lost power after Hurricane Maria, and restoring it has been the island’s toughest challenge during rebuilding. But Alexis Massol, a civil engineer who won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, is hoping to use the power of the sun to get the lights back on.
Hurricane Maria didn’t spare anyone on the island of Dominica--even prime minister Roosevelt Skerrit lost his roof during the storm. Weeks later, the entire island remained in a fragile state. Here, one family describes their day-to-day life since the hurricane. Andel Challenger, 46, clears trees and electricity lines blocking the road near his family’s home. Since a category 5 hurricane hit the island on September 18, they have struggled to find water and food. "There are no emergency services here," he says. The father of the Challenger family, Hutson, a pastor at an evangelical church, designed the family’s house in the 80s to resist hurricanes. One of the only concrete structures in the Kalinago indigenous area, it’s also one of the only homes there that survived the powerful storm. The house became a refuge for his mother-in-law, two children, daughter-in-law and four grandchildren, who all lost their homes due to the hurricane. Across the island, 85% of homes were damaged.
During Hurricane Maria, well-known Puerto Rican percussionist Tito Matos lost the building where he gave weekly children’s workshops on ‘plena,’ a type of Puerto Rican folkloric music. But that didn’t stop him from continuing to share the folklore. On October 4 he took his instruments to the Plaza del Indio in San Juan to play. In the midst of stress over long lines, no electricity or water, and damage from Hurricane Maria, Matos summoned both adults and children to enjoy the music of their ancestors.
Half of the more than 100 families that lived in the same trailer park as Yolanda, in Islamorada, have already left the island. Months after Irma damaged one of every five homes in the Florida Keys, the prospect for those who insist on staying in modest low-income housing is still bleak. Yolanda lost the mobile home she bought with her savings. Without compensation from FEMA, she cannot afford to enjoy her retirement because she doesn’t have enough money for repairs and reconstruction.
Karen Carter is a resident of Ramrod Key and has not yet recovered from the impact of the devastation on her island. Average rent is around $2,500, which is why she chose to live in a boat that was lost in Hurricane Irma. Nor is there, she claims, a firm commitment by the government to assist the disaster victims. Karen has no idea where to begin to rebuild her life.
The passage of the most powerful cyclone to hit the Caribbean island reduced Roberto Atienza's coffee harvest to a sorry 15%. "This year’s will be the worst ever," he says after remembering that it’s been five years since the last good harvest. Resigned to starting over, he reckons that the Hacienda San Pedro will take at least 10 years to return to normal. But the hurricane also left something positive: "I have never seen so many people so willing to help others," he says, adding that the lesson will help them to begin to value the things that are truly necessary.
“This storm was like a monster,” says Arthur Nibbs, a politician from Antigua and Barbuda, remembering the storm that destroyed 75% of his island’s structures, including schools, hospitals and police stations.
On November 15, days before the allegations of sexual harassment against Charlie Rose came to light, the CNN International host issued a public call to editors and executives to end the abuse and sexual harassment in the media. That evening, Rose, who is being replaced by Amanpour on an interim basis, was sitting only a few feet away as she spoke.
The Colombian soldier Mauricio Calvo shares his experience as part of a burgeoning industry of men who travel the world to fight in other people's wars.
Angela King went from being a Neonazi skinhead to working to lure people out of hate groups. Today, King says she’s worried about what she sees as an increase of hate and a U.S. president who refuses to publicly denounce it. She has a unique insight into the most effective ways to respond to incidences of hate and extremism, and why people are in the life in the first place.
Through tears, Joaquín Ramírez recalls the minutes after a gunman entered a Baptist church in Sutherland Springs, Texas, and fired at everyone in his path.
When Rodrigo Duterte was sworn in as Philippines’ president in June 2016, he declared a war on drug traffickers and users. Since then, Human Rights groups estimate more than 12,000 people have been killed in this offensive they call "a war on the poor." Univision News traveled to Manila and witnessed this conflict first hand.
Así se vivió el tiroteo que dejó dos fallecidos en una escuela secundaria en Kentucky
Los estudiantes de Marshall County High School José Quintana y Jackeline Zaragoza narran cómo actuaron tras escuchar los disparos, que acabaron con las vidas de Bailey Nicole Holt y Preston Ryan. La policía estatal y el FBI buscan conocer los motivos del presunto atacante, identificado como un alumno de 15 años.
100 Mexicanos Dijieron
100 Mexicanos Dijieron - 23 de enero, 2018
Andrés Palacios, Alexis Ayala, Sergio Mayer y Juan Carlos Barreto tendrán que ganar el mayor número puntos para vencer al equipo conformado por Cynthia Urías, Jessica Coch, Ingrid Martz y Bárbara Islas. Solo un equipo hará a su familia ganadora.
Laura - 'Mi novio me pega ¿Y qué?'
Mi novio y yo jugamos muy fuerte, nos golpeamos y empujamos, a veces me pega más fuerte porque le dan celos de otros chicos, mi madre quiere separarme de él porque cree que me maltrata.
Aquí y Ahora - 21 de enero, 2018
Fue a la iglesia a confesarse y luego la hallaron asesinada, pasaron muchos años para que el crimen pudiera esclarecerse.
publicidad
Dreamer: "Estamos molestos con el senador Schumer y con los demócratas porque no pudieron mantener la línea"
Decenas de beneficiarios de DACA, acompañados de varias organizaciones, se dieron cita este martes frente a la casa del senador demócrata Chuck Schumer en Nueva York para rechazar el acuerdo alcanzado con legisladores republicanos que permitió reabrir el gobierno federal.
Jeff Sessions y James Comey fueron interrogados por el equipo de Robert Mueller, el fiscal especial que investiga el 'Rusiagate'
El fiscal general es el primer miembro en funciones del gabinete de Trump que se sabe que fue entrevistado por este caso. Comey, por su parte, habló sobre las notas en las que documentó sus encuentros con el presidente, que ha descrito como 'incómodos'.
Travis Allen, el candidato opositor a las políticas proinmigrantes y al 'establishment' de California
El legislador estatal se presenta como "el único republicano en la contienda que votó por Trump", rechaza la política de estado santuario y promete reducir los impuestos estatales.
Este inmigrante venezolano le puso mucha sazón a su trabajo y logró cumplir el sueño americano
Rubén Rodríguez Santos llegó a Estados Unidos para desarrollar sus estudios, empezó a trabajar en diferentes restaurantes, ahorró dinero y hoy tiene su propio restaurante. Asegura que su mayor objetivo es poder darle trabajo a muchas personas.
Zamorano defendió el llamado de los hermanos Dos Santos al Tri, a pesar de su mala campaña en el Galaxy
Tras la discreta temporada de Giovani y Jonathan en el club de la MLS, nuestro analista de Contacto Deportivo explicó por qué Juan Carlos Osorio los convocó para el juego amistoso ante Bosnia.
Hyeon Chung es el primer sudcoreano en Semifinales de un Grand Slam
Hyeon Chung es el primer tenista de Corea del Sur en llegar a Semifinales de Grand Slam, en el Abierto de Australia 2018, al vencer a Tennys Sandgren.
Rafa Nadal sufre lesión muscular y estará de vuelta para el Abierto de Acapulco
El tenista mallorquín abandonó el Abierto de Australia mientras enfrentaba al croata Marin Cilic.