President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden highlighted the gap in pay between American men and women in an event marking Equal Pay Day on Wednesday with members of the U.S. national women’s soccer team. “My administration is going to fight for equal pay,” Biden said. “It’s about justice, it’s about fairness, it’s about living up to our values, who we are as nation. Equal pay makes all of us stronger.” Equal Pay Day is commemorated in the U.S. on a different date every year and marks how many more days the average American woman must work in order to earn what the average man made in the previous year. Mark these 2021 United States Soccer Women’s National Team member Megan Rapinoe speaks during an event to mark Equal Pay Day in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus, March 24, 2021.Team members attending the White House event included star Megan Rapinoe, who vowed in 2019 she would not visit the White House while Donald Trump was in office. Rapinoe, who is a lesbian and an activist for equal pay, feuded with Trump on Twitter over policies she viewed as anti-gender equality and anti-LGBTQ. The two-time World Cup champion highlighted the struggles of female professional athletes. “Despite those wins, I’ve been devalued, I’ve been disrespected and dismissed because I am a woman. And I’ve been told that I don’t deserve any more than less, because I am a woman,” Rapinoe said. “Despite all the wins, I’m still paid less than men who do the same job that I do.” Equal Pay Day hearing On Wednesday, the House Committee on Oversight and Reform held a First lady Jill Biden speaks during an event to mark Equal Pay Day in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building on the White House Campus, March 24, 2021.The long-term costs of these lost paychecks and time out of the workforce will be high if policymakers don’t invest in a strong recovery for women, said Jessica Mason, senior policy analyst at the National Partnership for Women & Families. Mason added that because the pay gap counts only women and men who have jobs, it perversely might appear to improve in this year’s economic data because the pandemic destroyed the jobs of so many women at the bottom of the pay scale. “Policymakers should beware of the statistical mirage,” said Mason. The U.S. ranks 53rd in the latest Global Gender Gap Report, far behind other developing countries. 

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