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On Equal Pay Day, A Call For Equality For Michigan Women

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LANSING (WWJ) Today, April 8, is Equal Pay Day — a day marking the number of extra days into 2014 the average woman has to work to earn as much as her male counterpart did in 2013.

On average, caucasian women are paid only 77 percent of what men are paid; and for women of color, the gap is significantly wider.

CEO of the Michigan League for Public Policy Gilda Jacobs says fair wages for women and increasing the minimum wage are tied together.

“Quite honestly, the minimum wage conversation has really got to be part of this conversation,” Jacobs said. “When you work and you do the right thing, you want to be compensated enough so that you’re not living in poverty.”

Jacobs says it’s a shame that women still make considerably less than men — especially because over half a million households in Michigan are headed by women.

For that and many other reasons, Jacobs says it’s about more than just a fair wage.

“There’s really a very strong economic argument that can be made — women who are getting paid the same as their male counterparts are going to have that much more to actually put into the economy, to stimulate the economy,” she said.

Jacobs says if women’s pay were on par with that of men, more money would flow into local communities — which is good for everyone.

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