Women’s History Month, Equal Pay Day, and DDAM March 21, 2022 – Posted in: Global News

March is all about women. While the entire month is centered around women’s history, it also focuses on one day where all women around the world are recognized, and another

that shines a light on the wage gap between men and women.

The origin of Women’s History Month started in 1981 when Congress authorized and requested the President to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982, as “Women’s History Week.”  In 1987 after being petitioned by the National Women’s History Project, Congress designated the month of March 1987 as “Women’s History Month.” Since 1995, presidents have issued a series of annual proclamations designating the month of March as “Women’s History Month.” These proclamations celebrate the contributions women have made to the United States and recognize the specific achievements women have made over the course of American history in a variety of fields. The Library of Congress has a great website where you can learn more about this movement, as well as an amazing series of exhibits, collections, and images.

Going even further back is International Women’s Day (IWD). March 8th is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women’s equality. IWD has occurred for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. AtWork! proudly sponsored Edmonds International Women’s Day this year, and videos from the event can be found here.

Every year, National Equal Pay Day falls on a different day, but for a very important reason. The date it lands on symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the PREVIOUS year. This year, it fell on March 15th, which is the earliest its ever fallen in the year. Over the course of a career, the pay gap can add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost earnings, particularly for women of color, significantly impacting retirement savings and uniquely burdening households led by single mothers. Disabled women also continue to experience significant disparities and make 80 cents for every dollar compared to men with disabilities.

Keep in mind this is the “overall” day, but the dates also differ by ethnicity:

  • Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Women’s Equal Pay Day are May 3. Asian American and Pacific Islander women are paid 75 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
  • Black Women’s Equal Pay Day is September 21. Black women are paid 58 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
  • Native Women’s Equal Pay Day is November 30. Native women are paid 50 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
  • Latina’s Equal Pay Day is December 8. Latinas are paid 49 cents for every dollar paid to white men.

As an organization, AtWork! recognizes the intersectionality that it takes to center women (and all of us) in service, leadership, and equitable compensation.

Speaking of intersectionality, disabilities impact all of us, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status.

National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month was first declared by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. This year’s theme, Worlds Imagined, focuses on how the world is changing as we move through and beyond the pandemic. With this theme, NACDD plans to highlight intersectionality and disability, as well as how people with intellectual disabilities and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) are living longer and more productive lives than ever before. The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) has put together great imagery and artwork page that includes logos in English, Tagalog, French, Arabic, Cantonese, and Spanish.

AtWork! thanks you for your participation in recognizing Women’s History Month, Equal Pay Day, and Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month.