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Ai-Jen Poo Addresses Equal Pay for Women in U.S. House Hearing

March 24, 2021

Savannah Behrmann, USA Today

AWTT portrait subject Ai-Jen Poo was among those who testified today before the U.S. House Committee on Oversight and Reform. The hearing was held in honor of Equal Pay Day, to examine the long-term economic impacts of gender inequality. 

“In 2021, pay disparities and discrimination still exist between men and women, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., wants people to know that Equal Pay Day is not one of celebration.

“‘This day marks the extra time it takes an average woman in the United States to earn the same pay that their male counterparts made the previous calendar year,’ Maloney, chairwoman for the House Oversight Committee, told USA TODAY. …” 

Ai-jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, highlighted during the hearing that ‘care giving and cleaning work is work that has always been assigned to women and taken for granted that women will do. As a profession it’s been associated with Black women, women of color and immigrant women.’ Ninety-two percent of domestic workers are women, according to Poo. 

“”The pandemic has deepened inequity for women who are already struggling,’ Poo said. ‘In March of 2020 over 52% of domestic workers surveyed had no work. A week later that number had increased to 68%. On a call with our members one women held up her phone to the camera to show us that she literally had 1 cent left in her bank account.'”

U.S. Women’s National Team soccer star and equal pay advocate, Megan Rapinoe; Khara Jabola-Carolus, executive director of  the Hawaii State Commission on the Status of Women; and others also testified at today’s hearing.

Read full USA Today story here

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