Equal Pay Day was originated by the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE) in 1996 as a public awareness event to illustrate the gap between men’s and women’s wages. (It was originally called “National Pay Inequity Awareness Day” and changed to Equal Pay Day in 1998.)
Since Census statistics showing the latest wage figures will not be available until late August or September, NCPE leadership decided years ago to select a Tuesday in April as Equal Pay Day. (Tuesday was selected to represent how far into the next work week women must work to earn what men earned the previous week.) The date also is selected to avoid religious holidays and other significant events.
Because women earn less, on average, than men, they must work longer for the same amount of pay. The wage gap is even greater for most women of color.
Submitted by the AUPresses Gender Equity and Cultures of Respect Task Force, November 2019