Approximately 25 people attended the Equal Pay Day ceremony on Tuesday, and were encouraged to wear the color red as it symbolizes how far women and minorities are ‘in the red’ with their pay. Contributed photo

In a ceremony held Tuesday, April 2 at the Līhu‘e Civic Center, Mayor Derek Kawakami presented a proclamation to the Kaua‘i Committee on the Status of Women in recognition of Equal Pay Day on Kaua‘i, according to a county news release.

Equal Pay Day symbolizes how far into the current year a woman must work to earn as much as a man earned in the previous year, and is based on statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau. While the wage gap has improved since the 1960s, women still earn, on average, only 80 percent of what men earn.

In his proclamation, Kawakami highlighted the need to address the issue of equal pay for equal work, and encouraged elimination of the gender pay gap. He noted that college-educated women working full time earn more than a half million dollars less than their male peers do over the course of a lifetime.

“Further, nearly four in 10 mothers are primary breadwinners in their
households, and nearly two-thirds are significant earners,” Kawakami said. “This puts into perspective how critical pay equity is to our families and their economic security.”

Approximately 25 people attended the ceremony on Tuesday, and were encouraged to wear the color red as it symbolizes how far women and minorities are “in the red” with their pay.