Every year on March 8, we celebrate International Women’s Day. On this day, we commemorate the social, cultural, economic, and political achievements of women, however, we also remember that we, as women, have a long way to go until we achieve gender equality.
South Carolina is one of the few states that has not enacted an Equal Pay Act, and, as a result, women in South Carolina are only paid 80 cents for every dollar that men earn, resulting in an annual wage gap of $8,272 (National Women’s Law Center). This gap widens for women of color, with African American women earning only 57 cents, Latinas earning 51 cents, and Asian women earning 68 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men.
Participation by women in the decision-making leadership roles in the state of South Carolina is currently limited. Women comprise only 13.5 percent of seats in the South Carolina state legislature, the third lowest representation in the country, even though women make up 51 percent of the state’s general population.
The good news is that women in South Carolina constitute 55 percent of the registered voters. As a majority voting bloc, women have the power to achieve change in South Carolina and advocate for gender equality.
International Women’s Day is more than a date for self-congratulations on past achievements; it is a date for men and women in the state of South Carolina to pledge their commitment to change and promote gender equality.
Beaufort County Democratic Party chair
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