What do women in America want and need for Mother’s Day 2021? Transparency in pay in the workplace, paid family leave, paid sick days, pregnancy accommodations, quality affordable childcare, home-based employment, in-office flexible work schedules, and access to affordable transportation.
Wednesday, May 5, 2021 was a call to action day: Mom’s Equal Pay Day 2021 across the nation to raise the awareness of wage gap experiences for all women and to highlight the disproportionate number of women of color affected by pay inequality in America. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated issues that have plagued women in America for centuries.
Do you know the facts?
- The Census, if not accurately counted means that women and girls face the possibility of losing access to critical services.
- Native women who work year-round, full-time jobs make .60 cent for every dollar paid to their white male counterparts.
- Black women who work year-round, full-time jobs were paid only .62 cents to their white male counterparts. In some states like Louisiana, Black women are paid as little as .47 cents. That number is .51 cents in Washington D.C.
Over a 40-year career, the average woman across the board loses in excess of several millions of dollars to racial and gender pay discrimination. The statistics prove that racism and blatant pay discrimination is a predominate factor in the creation of generational poverty amongst all women, especially women of color.
We have the power to motivate our state and federal policymakers to address the full scope of race-based and pay discrimination by through strong targeted advocacy with our local, state, and federal leaders who have been elected to address social, economic and structural roots of inequality that leads to and drives equal pay discrimination.
Black, Hispanic, and Native Communities who have faced pay inequalities are inadequately represented on all levels of social support and are clearly identified to be at-risk based on social determinants of health. Social determinants of health play a critical role in the overall outcomes of these communities. Equal and fair pay is critical to changing the narrative for the mothers of color in America. Crowded living conditions, unstable housing, access to nutritional food, and environmental danger continue to put these mother’s at-risk.
Research by the Kaiser Family Foundation states that at-least 1 in 4 adults report each of the following measures: difficulty affording routine health care costs, not taking prescriptions as prescribed due to cost, and struggling to pay medical bills. In 2018, people with incomes below 250 percent of the poverty level-$30,000 for a single person and less than $63,00 for a family of four at the time were twice as likely to feel unconfident about their health insurance helping them to afford care. There are so many tragic stories about delaying treatment or inability to take leave from work have proliferated in recent years, and unaffordable health care costs continue to burden America’s mothers and the general population that is in poverty at large.
These communities are expected to achieve in a system that identifies that they are at-risk but somehow are expected to overcome blatant discrimination on their own as if, fair and equitable pay is not a factor to improving healthcare access and social determinants of health outcomes. However, in all the darkness there is light at the end of the tunnel.
There are laws called salary history bans that are enacted in states all over the country designed to impede the cycle of race-based and gender pay disparities in America. Women must take a stand to educate young men and women early about pay inequality so that future generations gain social, mental, and physical wealth by understanding that a healthy nation is one who takes care of all its people.
Beverly Kerr has over 20 plus years of experience in the project development, financial advisor, business management and development, health education, agri-business and co-founder of Kujimani Creative Arts praise dance team along with her sister, Gloria Gray. She an accomplished grant writer and program development specialist who has with God’s blessing has raised over 3 million dollars in non-profit grant funding that was used to implement arts and humanities programs including liturgical, contemporary, and African dance, mental health services for the uninsured, public housing complex programs, after-school programs, summer camps, computer labs, children’s book fair, Rowan County – Targeted Infant Mortality Reduction Grant, and NC Juvenile Justice – Gang prevention programs that served the children and youth of the City of Salisbury and Rowan County. Beverly loves to serve the community, write, sing, and keep her hands to the work of God to make the world a better place for everyone.
Mr. and Mrs. Kerr currently own operate Kerr Trucking and Logistics, LLC, a trucking company based in Salisbury, NC.