On Tuesday, Aug. 22, the Santa Rosa City Council presented a proclamation recognizing this Saturday, Aug. 26, as Women’s Equality Day. Commemorated on the first day that women were allowed to vote in America, Women’s Equality Day is a celebration of the achievements of women and a recommitment to the realization of gender equality in the City of Santa Rosa, including equal pay for equal work.
In 1976, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors established one of the first Commissions on the Status of Women in the State of California. The purpose of doing so was to promote equal rights and opportunities that enhance the quality of life for all women and girls, as well as address issues of discrimination and prejudice that negatively affect women in Sonoma County. Hence, it was necessary to dedicate a day to acknowledging the struggles women have overcome, as well as the ones that are currently being faced.
Today, women make up nearly 50% of our workforce, a majority of college and graduate school students, and are increasingly becoming the primary breadwinners in households. According to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics, as recently as 2020, women earned approximately 88% of what men earned. Women are also more likely than men to live below the federal poverty threshold. In fact, the greatest poverty rate among families is that of single mothers caring for their own children. Facts like these emphasize that even with all the gains women have made, there is still work to be done.
Equal pay for equal work, access to quality and affordable childcare, housing, and comprehensive healthcare, including reproductive and mental health care, are all areas that blatantly display inequality between men and women. Join the City of Santa Rosa in celebrating Women’s Equality Day to shine a light on the inequality women face and how we can close that gap.