News / Economy

Obama Pushes for Equal Pay for Women

FILE - A female employee works alongside a male colleague at a Ford Motor Plant in Wayne, Michigan.
FILE - A female employee works alongside a male colleague at a Ford Motor Plant in Wayne, Michigan.
Luis Ramirez
President Barack Obama is stepping up his push to ensure that women are paid wages equal to those of men.
In the latest episode of yet another escalating battle with Congress, the president signed an executive order he hopes will increase transparency about wage disparities between men and women.
The order bans companies that do business with the U.S. government from firing or otherwise punishing employees who inquire about or discuss their wages and compare them openly to what others in the company are earning.
Sex-based discrimination in the workplace has been illegal in the United States since 1963. At the signing ceremony Tuesday, Obama said disparities still exist.
“Today, the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. For African-American women and Latinas, it's even less, and in 2014, that's an embarrassment; it is wrong,” said Obama.
Allowing open discussion of wages in the workplace could make it harder for companies to defend themselves in lawsuits where they are accused of illegally paying men more than women for equal work.
Obama signed the order as the Senate prepares to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a law backed by the president that seeks to remedy wage disparities between the sexes.
Political opponents accuse Obama of raising the issue to gain support among women voters in congressional elections this year. 
Republican Senator John Thune said the law Obama is pushing would not help women in the workplace.
“This election year ploy would actually hurt women by increasing federal regulations that would cut flexibility in the workforce for working moms and end merit pay to reward quality work," said Thune.
Obama's efforts have included his push for a minimum wage increase, a move that opponents argue would harm women by killing jobs that are predominantly held by females.

You May Like

Video Russia’s Syrian Escalation Tests Obama’s Crisis Response

Critics once again question whether president has been slow to act on Syrian conflict, thus creating opening for powers like Russia More

Ancient African DNA Shows Mass Migration Back Into Africa

First genetic analysis of ancient human remains in Africa suggests massive migration from north around time of Egyptian empire More

NASA: Pluto Has Blue Sky

New photos also reveal the presence of water ice More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
by: Jack from: Phoenix
April 08, 2014 11:26 PM
Don't worry people,and by people I mean MEN. Soon Republicans will rule and women will be put in their place,and by place I mean second class citizens. Women should accept their biology. They were put on earth to serve MEN and have children.
In Response

by: Cynthia from: Vietnam
April 09, 2014 9:42 AM
Jack. I just want to confirm that your idea is absolutely young. We are all humans. If you still keep that stupid idea, you are not a human

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugeesi
Henry Ridgwell
October 08, 2015 8:02 PM
Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Hungary Criticized for Handling of Refugees

Amnesty International has accused Hungary of breaking multiple international and European human rights laws in its handling of the refugee crisis. As Henry Ridgwell reports, thousands of migrants and refugees continue to travel through the Balkans to Hungary every day.

Video Iraqi-Kurdish Teachers Vow to Continue Protest

Sixteen people were injured when police used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse teachers and other public employees who took to the streets in Iraq’s Kurdish north, demanding their salaries from the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). VOA’s Dilshad Anwar, in Sulaimaniya, caught up with protesting teachers who say they have not been paid for three months. Parke Brewer narrates his report.

Video Syrian Village Community Faces Double Displacement in Lebanon

Driven by war from their village in southwestern Syria, a group of families found shelter in Lebanon, resettling en masse in a half-built university to form one of the biggest settlements of its kind in Lebanon. Three years later, however, they now face being kicked out and dispersed in a country where finding shelter as a refugee can be especially tough. John Owens has more for VOA from the city of Saida, also known as Sidon.

Video Bat Colony: Unusual Tourist Attraction in Texas

The action hero Batman might be everyone’s favorite but real bats hardly get that kind of adoration. Put more than a million of these creatures of the night together and it only evokes images of horror. Sarah Zaman visited the largest urban bat colony in North America to see just how well bat and human get along with each other.

Video Device Shows Promise of Stopping Motion Sickness

It’s a sickening feeling — the dizziness, nausea and vomiting that comes with motion sickness. But a device now being developed could stop motion sickness by suppressing certain signals in the brain. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.

Video Making a Mint

While apples, corn, and cranberries top the list of fall produce in the US, it’s also the time to harvest gum, candy, and toothpaste—or at least the oil that makes them minty fresh. Erika Celeste reports from South Bend, Indiana on the mint harvest.

Video Activists Decry Lagos Slum Demolition

Acting on a court order, authorities in Nigeria demolished a slum last month in the commercial capital, Lagos. But human rights activists say the order was illegal, and the community was razed to make way for a government housing project. Chris Stein has more from Lagos.

Video TPP Agreed, But Faces Stiff Opposition

President Barack Obama promoted the Trans-Pacific Partnership on Tuesday, one day after 12 Pacific Rim nations reached the free trade deal in Atlanta. The controversial pact that would involve about 40 percent of global trade still needs approval by lawmakers in respective countries. Zlatica Hoke reports Obama is facing strong opposition to the deal, including from members of his own party.

Video Ukranian Artist Portrays Putin in an Unusual Way

As Russian President Vladimir Putin was addressing the United Nations in New York last month, he was also being featured in an art exhibition in Washington. It’s not a flattering exhibit. It’s done by a Ukrainian artist in a unique medium. And its creator says it’s not only a work of art - it’s a political statement. VOA’s Tetiana Kharchenko has more.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

VOA Blogs

World Currencies


Rates may not be current.