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November 30, 2023: Native Women's Equal Pay Day

WHEREAS, Native women, on average, must work 11 full months into this year to make the same amount as their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts were paid last year; and

WHEREAS, more than 50 years after the passage of the federal Equal Pay Act, women in Michigan continue to suffer the consequences of unequal pay; and,

WHEREAS, according to the National Women’s Law Center, the gender pay gap exists at all levels of work in almost every occupation, cutting across all education levels, age groups and demographics, and widening significantly for women of color and women with disabilities; and,

WHEREAS, as a whole, women in the U.S. who work full-time, year-round are typically paid only 84 cents for every dollar paid to their male counterparts; and,

WHEREAS, nationally, for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts, Native women working full-time, year-round typically make only 57 cents; and,

WHEREAS, this wage gap typically means an annual median loss of $28,797 for Native women and a staggering loss of more than $1 million over the course of a 40-year career; an

WHEREAS, these lost wages mean that Native women and their families have less money to support themselves and their families, save and invest for the future, and spend on goods and services, with families, businesses, and the economy suffering as a result; and

WHEREAS, the public and private sectors can implement fair pay equity policies without undue costs of hardship; and,

WHEREAS, fair pay strengthens the security of families today and eases future retirement costs while enhancing the American economy; and,

WHEREAS, Thursday, November 30, 2023, marks the day into the year it takes for Native women on average to earn what all US men did the previous year;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim November 30, 2023, as Native Women’s Equal Pay Day in Michigan.