Economic Policy


Joint Center at White House for Women’s Equality Day

Joint Center at White House for Women’s Equality Day

By: Samone Ijoma, Joint Center Executive Assistant

On August 26th, Joint Center Staff Assistant, Samone Ijoma attended a Women’s Equality Day event at the White House featuring President Obama, Senior Advisor to the President, Valerie Jarrett, and Director of the White House Office of Urban Affairs, Roy Austin.

Two years ago, the White House declared August 26th as Women’s Equality Day to commemorate the date in 1920 when the 19th Amendment became law, and women were guaranteed the right to vote.  This year, on Women’s Equality Day, President Obama recognized progress in building a fairer society, but also recognized that more work remains and has reviewed his Administration’s efforts to ensure gender equity (e.g.., Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, Paycheck Fairness Act, minimum wage increase, the ACA, protecting Students from Sexual Assault).

Despite equality in the right to vote, women of color continue to face unique challenges.  For example, according to the Center for American Progress, while white women have a 22% wage gap with white men, Hispanic women have a 54% wage gap, and African-American women have a 64% wage gap when compared to white men.  Various factors explain this wider gap, including substantial care giving burdens and low-paying jobs among women of color.

During a White House Briefing, just before the President’s acknowledgement of Women’s Equality Day and WNBA champions, the Phoenix Mercury, White House officials explained how their initiatives address the unique challenges faced by women of color.