U.S. Rep. Bill Enyart (D-Illinois) on Tuesday celebrated Women’s Equality Day and the 94th anniversary of the 19th amendment — granting women the right to vote.
“Women’s equality has come a long way in our nation, but it hasn’t gone far enough,” Enyart said. “Women are two-thirds of minimum wage workers in our country and they deserve a raise, and women still aren’t making dollar for dollar compared to their male counterparts.”
The National Women’s Law Center states that two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women. A single woman who works full time, year round at minimum wage with two children is living thousands of dollars below the poverty line. In March 2013 Enyart cosponsored the Fair Minimum Wage Act.
In March 2013 Enyart also signed on to the Paycheck Fairness Act. The act ensures that working women are paid equally compared to male employees. According to the Pew Research Center, women make 84 cents for every dollar a man earns.
“Additionally, today it is also important to remember that we’ve got a long way to go for women who suffer from sexual assault in the military,” Enyart said. “In order to objectively investigate and try sexual assault cases in the military, we must take prosecutors out of the chain of command.”
This past spring, Enyart spoke during a House Armed Services Committee about the need to remove military prosecutors from the chain of command to prevent interference with justice during judicial hearings. Enyart’s speech can be seen here.
In February 2013, Enyart signed on to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act. For nearly two years, political games in Congress stonewalled critical programs and support for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.
“I am proud to support the Violence Against Women Act because survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault need to know that they have access to critical resources,” Enyart said in February.
“On Women’s Equality Day, we need to remember the need for true equality in our country,” Enyart said. “Minimum wage, equal pay, sexual assault, violence against women – these aren’t just women’s issues. These are family issues.”