Your message to friends:
My definition of bravery is standing up for what you know is right. Even if it means standing up for a very long time--and even if it means standing up to powerful corporate interests when victory is uncertain.
There are some brave women I'd like to celebrate with you today.
For almost ten years, the “Women of Wal-Mart” have been bravely standing up: Ten years ago Betty Dukes and her colleagues first brought their claims of discrimination and unfair promotions against Wal-Mart – the nation’s largest employer. These women were subjected to comments from managers like: “If you would wear lower cut shirts, you would probably get more pay” and ““You don’t have the right equipment…you aren’t male, so you can’t expect to be paid the same.” 
Now their case is headed to the United States Supreme Court and these brave women deserve a standing ovation. Send a message of encouragement to the “Women of Wal-Mart” as they fight pay discrimination against women and moms. You can sign MomsRising's note to them or personalize you own note when you click here: http://action.momsrising.org/sign/walmart_women/?source=taf
MomsRising will hand deliver your messages to these brave women next Tuesday before the Supreme Court case is heard.
Next Tuesday, March 29, arguments will start in the Dukes v. Wal-Mart case to determine whether women employed at Wal-Mart stores across the country can join together in a class action to challenge Wal-Mart's pay and promotion practices alleged to discriminate against women. This is important because there is far more power in a class action than if each woman had to bring an individual lawsuit. A class action will also send a very clear message to the nation’s employers that discriminating against women and moms because they are women and moms will not stand.
The data reveals a big problem with wage discrimination at our nation's largest employer: According to a statistical report prepared by Dr. Richard Drogin, a plaintiffs’ expert in the Wal-Mart case, “Women employees at Wal-Mart are concentrated in the lower paying jobs, are paid less than men in the same jobs and are less likely to advance to management positions than men. These gender patterns persist even though women have more seniority, have lower turnover rates, and have higher performance ratings in most jobs.” 
What!? Even though women had better seniority and performance reviews they were paid less for the same work and advanced slower?! Not good!
Ready to be even more outraged? Here are a few more things that Wal-Mart managers said to women employees seeking pay raises and promotions:
** One woman testified that she “overheard [the] Store Manager… telling another male assistant manager that all women should be ‘at home with a bun in the oven’ and ‘barefoot and pregnant.’” 
**“Women will never make as much money as men…God made Adam first, and so women would always be second to men.” 
**A Wal-Mart woman said that “When I asked [General Manager] why he had given a large raise to another male employee, [he] told me it was because [the employee] had a family to support.” 
**“Men are here to make a career and women aren’t. Retail is for housewives who just need to earn extra money.” 
These women faced pay discrimination ten years ago because they’re women and moms. But sadly, paycheck discrimination is hardly a thing of the past. And, sadly, it's not just happening at Wal-Mart, but is widespread throughout our nation. Things aren't looking up for women's paychecks now. Data recently released by the U.S. Census found that women who worked full-time, year round on average still made 23 cents less for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. (This marks no change from 2008’s wage gap and amounts to nearly $11,000 per year in lost earnings). And, the wage gap for women of color in 2009 was even more staggering than for women overall. When Black and Hispanic women work full-time, year round, they only make 62 and 53 cents, respectively, for every dollar their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts earn. 
If the wage gap continues to narrow at the same rate as it has done since 1960, it will take another 45 years, or until 2056, for women and men to reach pay equity. 
Paycheck fairness is not just a woman’s issue. The majority of families these days need the wages of two parents to make ends meet, and getting equal pay for equal work would go a long way toward helping family economic security and putting the nation on the road to economic recovery.
We have a lot of work to do to rectify this situation – but right now we need to take a moment to thank the brave “Women of Wal-Mart” for their continued pursuit of justice for not only themselves, but all working women and moms.
Take a moment, right now, to send a note encouragement to these women and MomsRising will hand deliver it to them before the Supreme Court case next week. http://action.momsrising.org/sign/walmart_women/?source=taf
*And please be sure to forward this to friends and family so they can thank the “Women of Wal-Mart” too.
Together we’re a more powerful force for women and families.
P.S. Have you experienced pay discrimination because you’re a woman or a mom? Know someone who has? Tell us about your experiences here: http://www.momsrising.org/submit/mrstory/pay-discrimination?source=taf
P.P.S. Join MotherTalkers blogger Elisa Batista this Friday at 9 AM PT/ 12 PM ET for a live chat with Arcelia Hurtado, executive director of Equal Rights Advocates, who represents the plaintiffs in the Wal-Mart case. http://www.mothertalkers.com/
 National Women’s Law Center, “Dukes v Wal-Mart: Why the Supreme Court Should Stand with Working Women,” fact sheet, March 2011
 Joan S. Blades and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner "The Motherhood Manifesto: What America's Moms Want - and What To Do About It," Nation Books, 2006
[3-6] National Women’s Law Center, “Dukes v Wal-Mart: Why the Supreme Court Should Stand with Working Women,” fact sheet, March 2011
 US Census and NWLC Blog: State Wage Gap Shows Little or No Improvement since 2008
 IWPR Report: “Women’s Median Earnings as a Percent of Men’s Median Earnings, 1960-2009 (Full-Time, Year-Round Workers) with Projection for Pay Equity in 2056,” Jeff Hayes, Ph.D. (March 2011)
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