May 29, 2019
To the Chair Ciccone and Members of the Senate Labor Committee,
The Womxn Project is writing in support of The Fair Pay Act, S 509 to close the pay gap in Rhode Island. The Womxn Project is a non-profit organization in Rhode Island focused on building a strong, feminist, community-based movement to further human rights of Rhode Islanders by using art and activism to advance education and social change. We have a support based of 4,000 Rhode Islanders that are actively engaged in working to protect reproductive freedom in Rhode Island.
Working towards reproductive freedom means supporting people to make their own decisions about when and if to have children, and also providing economic opportunities that will allow parents to support their families. In Rhode Island today, a woman working full time makes only 84 cents to the dollar that her male counterpart makes for similar work. Women of color are even more deeply affected. Rhode Island Black women make 59 percent of what their white male counterparts make; for Latinas, the number is even lower—50 percent. This pay gap fluctuates but persists across generation, sector, and educational level.
If we are serious about providing reproductive freedom, closing the wage gap is an important step in this process. The Womxn Project urges the Committee to support passage of S 509.
The Womxn Project