On April 17, 2012, over 200 people gathered at Daley Plaza to commemorate Equal Pay Day. The Department of Human Rights and Women’s Issues collaborated with twenty-seven federal, state, local and non-profit agencies to sponsor the 2nd Annual Chicago Equal Pay Day Rally.
Equal Pay Day, April 17th of this year, represents the day when a woman’s wage finally catches up to a man’s wage for equal work from December 31st of the previous year. 108 days later!
President Preckwinkle addressed the crowd regarding wage discrimination and praising the women who came before us who have persistently fought for equal pay for equal work. Especially, Lily Ledbetter, a manager at Goodyear Tire and Rubber, who tirelessly campaigned for equal pay after she learned that she was paid less than her male counterparts. Lily’s crusade led to President Obama signing into law the 2009 Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Clerk of the Circuit Court Dorothy Brown praised the advancements and progress that have been made by women, but stated that although “equal pay is the law, and has been so since 1963,” we are not quite there yet. Clerk Brown stated that women will not receive equal pay until women elect themselves to office and pass and enforce the laws mandating equal pay.
April Williams, Community Relations Coordinator for the Department of Human Rights and Women’s Issues, acknowledged President Preckwinkle, Governor Quinn, and Mayor Emanuel’s proclamations proclaiming April 17, 2012, as Equal Pay Day, in the State of Illinois, in the County of Cook, and in the City of Chicago, all in honor of the value of women’s skills and contributions to the workplace.