AAPI Women to the US Senate: Pass Paycheck Fairness Act to End Wage Disparities That Cut to the Heart of Our Agency

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 5, 2019
Contact: Jennifer Wang
(202) 812-9325 / jwang@napawf.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Yesterday, the House of Representative passed the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7) to strengthen protections against pay discrimination.

NAPAWF Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement in response:

“We celebrate the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act in the House, long overdue legislation that seeks to eliminate the gender-based pay discrimination that many AAPI women in this country face. Earlier this month, we observed AAPI Equal Pay Day, in which we demanded Congressional action to address the wage disparities within our community and called on our leaders to act immediately to end this economic injustice.

“We commend the House of Representatives on historic passage of the bill, but the work is far from over. Wage disparities cut to the very heart of AAPI women’s agency to make decisions about our lives, our families, and our communities, which is why we call on the Senate to immediately pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and demonstrate its commitment to equal pay. NAPAWF will not rest until AAPI women can achieve fair pay and gain full agency over their lives, the families, and their communities.”

Anni Leming, of NAPAWF’s Albuquerque chapter, issued the following statement:

"Overall, AAPI women make 85 cents to the dollar a white man makes. But disaggregated data tells a different story: some AAPI ethnic groups make as low as 50 cents to the dollar a white man makes. Unfortunately, the model minority myth erroneously sends the message that all AAPIs enjoy high socioeconomic status, thus invisibilizing the needs of AAPIs across all labor sectors. Many AAPI women have recently arrived to the US and have limited English proficiency and may not understand their labor rights or do not want to address labor concerns for fear of retaliation. The Paycheck Fairness Act will address not only the barriers of unequal pay but also create opportunities for AAPI women to learn about and exercise their labor rights.”

Zeenat Hasssan, of NAPAWF’s Phoenix chapter, also issued the following statement:

“While we will continue to be vigilant about policies that seek to undermine the progress we have made to reduce the wage gap over the last fifty years, the passage of this important piece of legislation means that AAPI women and girls need not be afraid to fight for equitable pay. It means that we have the protection of our legal system to confront workplace bigotry and misogyny where it festers. The Paycheck Fairness Act is a rebuke of policies that aim to undermine progress for women and girls--it is us saying, ‘we will not be made invisible any longer.'"

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The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build collective power so that all AAPI women and girls can have full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.