Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lilly Ledbetter's Act

The very first bill Obama signed into law is a law about pay equity. That's pretty astonishing on one level -- that the very first priority for this administration is to ensure women who experience pay discrimination have an opportunity for legal recourse.

On the other hand, the bill is minor. It corrects a definition of when pay definition occurs. It doesn't prevent pay discrimination, it just allows an opportunity for objection. It also comes at the same time that Obama himself requested that funding for increased access to birth control be removed from a bill (sure, I understand the political argument for removing it, but I think by bending on this now he'll find it much harder to fight for this kind of stuff, including other kinds of health care reform, down the road) that's designed to stimulate the economy.

Women, especially women of color, are heavily burdened by work and family responsibilities. Finding work life balance for women is so difficult, and there is little support put in place, either by employers or by the government. I want to be happy for the passage of this bill, but it's also frustrating to see such a minor bill celebrated. We still have such a long way to go.


virtualredhead said...

This is long overdue, but I'm not sure it's going to make much of a difference. As a society we need to start raising our daughters to ASK for what they want rather than politely waiting for someone to notice them.

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