Equal Pay Day Rally Held in Duluth

Rally Organizers Want Improved Gender Equality in Local Businesses

DULUTH, Minn. – Today is Equal Pay Day because, according to the National Committee on Pay Equity, April 4th is how far women have to work into 2017 to earn what men did in 2016.

Over fifty years after the passage of the Equal Pay Act, women continue to earn about eighty percent as much money as men.

A rally in Duluth attempted to raise awareness about the pay gap and find local solutions to the problem.

Women and men gathered outside City Hall holding up signs and telling personal stories, letting their community know that equal pay isn’t just a national issue, but remains a problem here in Duluth.

“An eighth grader who I personally love who, at the first meeting for the feminist action collective, said that the issue she most cares about is that equal pay is earned in this world by the time she graduates college because she’s scared to enter the workforce and already be discredited because of her gender,” says Abigail Mlinar, co-organizer of the rally.

The ralliers asked for the passage of the Duluth earned safe and sick time ordinance and for Duluth businesses to push for more gender equality in leadership roles and with ensuring equal pay for women, an action they believe will help women get ahead in the workforce.

“It’s important to help support these young women and let them know that it’s okay to talk about and it’s okay when you go in for a job interview and when you get a job offer to ask for more money because that’s what men do and so men are getting ahead from the start,” says Leanne Ventrella, a member of the American Association of University Women who attended the rally.

Rally organizers say because women are now fifty percent of the workforce in Minnesota, families continue to suffer because of the wage gap.