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Mississippi State Treasurer Lynn Fitch Mississippi State Treasurer Lynn Fitch

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Treasurer Lynn Fitch Statement On Promoting Equal Pay for Equal Work

Jackson, MSTreasurer Lynn Fitch released the following statement on the gender pay gap in Mississippi today:

“There is not a single study that says there is no gender pay gap.  There are no studies to say that wage discrimination laws are obsolete. 

“To the contrary, every study done shows that women still struggle to close the pay gap.  There are studies to show that women suffer subtle discrimination that quietly influences employers’ pay decisions.  There are studies to show that mothers suffer a 4% penalty in their pay per child.  There are studies to show that we still have far to go in encouraging girls to pursue careers as doctors, not just nurses and executives, not just employees.  And, of course, there is case law to show that there is still very palpable discrimination against women in the workplace, too.

“And, it is because of these studies and this body of collected law that 48 states in the nation have taken action to pass wage discrimination laws.  That is 48 states that have said having a federal Equal Pay Act is not enough for their women. 

“But, not Mississippi.  With the highest percentage of women living in poverty, with the 49th highest women’s unemployment rate, and with a gender pay gap of 27%, Mississippi isn’t even talking about the issue. 

“There are those who say Mississippi women have been an afterthought in this session.  Seven pay equity bills died in committee.  With the highest rate of cervical cancer death in the nation, a bill to encourage annual pap smears died in committee.  Even as one of only two states in the nation without a no-fault divorce grounds, a bill to permit divorce based on long-term separation died in committee.  Permitting divorce for domestic abuse almost suffered the same fate.  But women stood up and in the face of public outcry, that still stands a chance to become law.

“It’s time to show Mississippi women that they are a valued part of our community.  Mississippi was the very last state to ratify the women’s right to vote – in 1984.  We shouldn’t be the very last state to take steps to close the pay gap.”
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