[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 73 (Friday, April 15, 2011)]
[Presidential Documents]
[Pages 21221-21222]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-9349]

                        Presidential Documents 

Federal Register / Vol. 76, No. 73 / Friday, April 15, 2011 / 
Presidential Documents


Title 3--
The President

[[Page 21221]]

                Proclamation 8653 of April 11, 2011

National Equal Pay Day, 2011

                By the President of the United States of America

                A Proclamation

                Generations of women have fought for the advancement of 
                their sisters, daughters, and themselves in acts of 
                great courage--reaching for and winning the right to 
                vote, breaking barriers in America's universities and 
                boardrooms, and flooding the modern workforce with 
                skilled talent. While our Nation has come far, 
                obstacles continue to exist for working women, who 
                still earn less on average than working men. Each year, 
                National Equal Pay Day reflects how far into the 
                current year women must work to match what men earned 
                in the previous year. On National Equal Pay Day, we 
                rededicate ourselves to carrying forward the fight for 
                true economic equality for all, regardless of gender.

                When the Equal Pay Act was signed into law in 1963, 
                women earned 59 cents for every dollar earned by men. 
                Though women today are more likely than men to attend 
                and graduate from college, women still earn an average 
                of only about 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. 
                Even when accounting for factors such as experience, 
                education, industry, and hours, this wage gap persists. 
                Over the course of her lifetime, this gap will cost a 
                woman and her family lost wages, reduced pensions, and 
                diminished Social Security benefits. Though we have 
                made great strides, wage discrimination is real and 
                women are still more likely to live in poverty. These 
                inequities remind us to work even harder to close the 
                gaps that still exist.

                At a time when families across this country are 
                struggling to make ends meet, National Equal Pay Day 
                reminds us that achieving equal pay for equal work is 
                not just a women's issue--it is a family issue. In 
                today's world, women represent both powerful consumers 
                and vital wage earners. Women make up nearly half of 
                the labor force and mothers are the primary or co-
                breadwinners in two-thirds of families. When women are 
                not paid fairly, the families that depend on their 
                earnings suffer.

                That is why one of my first acts as President was to 
                sign the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, a law that 
                empowers women who have been discriminated against in 
                their salaries to have their day in court to make it 
                right. I established the National Equal Pay Enforcement 
                Task Force to identify persistent challenges to equal 
                pay enforcement and ensure equal pay laws are 
                vigorously enforced throughout our country. My 
                Administration also published Women in America: 
                Indicators of Social and Economic Well-Being, the first 
                comprehensive Federal report on the status of American 
                women in almost 50 years, which documents that although 
                women have higher graduation rates than men at all 
                academic levels, the wage gap still persists. We are 
                pursuing these efforts because of the simple fact that 
                when women are paid fairly, our whole Nation will 

                Achieving equal pay for women is vital to strengthening 
                the future prosperity of our country. For the sake of 
                our daughters and granddaughters, we must renew our 
                commitment to eliminating the barriers women face in 
                the workforce and give both women and men the 
                opportunity to reach greater heights.

[[Page 21222]]

                NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the 
                United States of America, by virtue of the authority 
                vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the 
                United States, do hereby proclaim April 12, 2011, as 
                National Equal Pay Day. I call upon all Americans to 
                recognize the full value of women's skills and their 
                significant contributions to the labor force, 
                acknowledge the injustice of wage discrimination, and 
                join efforts to achieve equal pay.

                IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 
                eleventh day of April, in the year of our Lord two 
                thousand eleven, and of the Independence of the United 
                States of America the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
                    (Presidential Sig.)

[FR Doc. 2011-9349
Filed 4-14-11; 8:45 am]
Billing code 3195-W1-P