Ivanka Trump Tweets About Equal Pay Day And No One Is Buying It
Tuesday, April 4, is Equal Pay Day. It's meant to highlight the persistence of the gender pay gap, and the fact that women still don't earn equal pay for equal work in the United States.
Ivanka Trump tweeted to mark the occasion.
Normally, it would be great to see the daughter of the president supporting such a righteous cause.
But, given that her father, President Donald Trump, just rolled back Obama-era protections for women in the workplace on March 27 (last week), her tweet is shallow and hypocritical.
As someone who plays a crucial role in the Trump administration and is now officially a federal employee, Ivanka Trump is complicit in her father's actions.
Her empty display of female solidarity, and desperate-but-futile attempt to portray herself as a feminist, won't change this.
Due to her father's recent actions, it's now harder to ensure women are earning the same as men, and it's now easier for men to get away with sexual harassment in the workplace.
Trump signed an executive order that revoked the 2014 Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order, which was put in place by President Obama in order to make sure companies given federal contracts complied with 14 labor and civil rights laws.
Obama moved forward with this after a 2010 Government Accountability Office investigation discovered companies receiving millions in federal contracts were also violating many of these laws.
In short, this was a very necessary move.
The Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order included two rules specifically designed to protect women in the workforce: paycheck transparency and a ban on forced arbitration clauses for sexual harassment, sexual assault or discrimination claims.
So, this required companies receiving federal contracts (paid for by tax dollars) to provide every employee with a wage statement, providing a detailed summary of hours worked, rate of pay, total amount of pay and any deductions.
This helped ensure women were being paid the same as men for doing the same work.
President Obama's ban on forced arbitration clauses in employment contracts, or "cover-up clauses," was meant to combat sexual harassment in the workplace.
As Maya Raghu, Director of Workplace Equality at the National Women's Law Center, explained to NBC News,
Arbitrations are private proceedings with secret filings and private attorneys, and they often help hide sexual harassment claims. It can silence victims. They may feel afraid of coming forward because they might think they are the only one, or fear retaliation.
Now, as a result of Trump's actions, the ban on arbitration clauses is no longer in place, and men in companies that receive tax dollars will have an easier time sexually harassing women at work and getting away with it.
It's understandable why many were not having it when they saw Ivanka's tweet about Equal Pay Day.
Everyone seems to be asking Ivanka the same question: How can you tweet about gender equality while your father, who also happens to be your boss, makes huge steps backward on this issue?
Regardless of the hypocrisy surrounding her tweet, Ivanka Trump is right -- the gender pay gap still exists.
Sadly, in 2017, women in the workforce in the US still do not make as much as their male counterparts.
Women across all demographics make less than men -- 83 cents to every dollar earned by men -- but the gender pay gap hits women of color particularly hard.
Research from 2016 shows black women make 66 cents, and Hispanic women make 60 cents for every dollar earned by men.
Clearly, we still have a long way to go in the fight for gender equality, and Ivanka Trump tweeting about it will not help us get there.