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House Minority Leader Helps Celebrate 50th Birthday Of Equal Pay Act

— When President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law 50 years ago, he called the legislation “a first step.”

Photo by Harvey Georges

President Kennedy passes out pens on June 10, 1963, after signing the Equal Pay Act.

Half of a century later, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi applauded that first step while at Southwestern College in Chula Vista, but said women are still far from the finish line. The House Democratic leader says just look to the history of women’s rights to find problems that still don’t have proper solutions.

“The missing link in all of it was affordable childcare, and this is what we have to do to unleash the full power of women,” Pelosi said.

While celebrating the old legislation she was also stumping for some new law: the Paycheck Fairness Act. If passed, it would strengthen penalties against gender discrimination and require employers to prove any pay disparity is about the job—and not the gender.

Pelosi said stronger legislation will create income equality, which she said is still needed. According to statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor a woman makes 77 cents for every dollar a man makes.

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