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What is the gender pay gap?

The gender pay gap is the average difference between a man’s and a woman’s remuneration. In the United States, the female-to-male earnings ratio was 0.77 in 2012 and has only increased to 0.8 by 2017. This gap has been attributed to differences in personal and workplace characteristics between women and men as well as direct and indirect discrimination in the labor market. Women are often discriminated against compared to their male colleagues for the sole reason of being women.

Do women not have equal rights already?

The current status of women is not considered equal under United States law. In 1972 the Equal Rights Amendment was ratified in both the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives and sent to the states for ratification. This law would affirm the rights of the Constitution to all citizens without the basis of sex. Unfortunately, when sent to the states for ratification, only 22 of the 38 states needed for passage approved the proposed amendment. Currently, the proposed amendment is ratified in 37 states and could become the Twenty-Eighth Amendment of the Constitution. Without the ERA, the Constitution does not explicitly guarantee that the rights it protects are held equally by all citizens without regard to sex. The first, and still the only, right specifically affirmed as equal for women and men is the right to vote.

How does this affect my community?

Within the Reform Jewish community, the gender pay gap exists in very similar measures. Women make between 80-85 cents compared to a man’s one dollar. In order to accurately carry out social justice, as is commanded, we must first make sure social justice is practiced within our own walls.

Pay equity in our communities

Here are some articles and other resources for you to better understand the gender pay gap and how it affects the Jewish community and women in general.