Throughout the year, six Equal Pay Days are observed for women of varying backgrounds and circumstances. Today, February 23, we observe AAPI Equal Pay Day, as this day marks the date that Asian American / Pacific Islander (AAPI) women have to work into the new year to finally catch up to what white, non-Hispanic men earned last year.
The average Asian American / Pacific Islander woman is paid $0.87 for every $1.00 paid white, non-Hispanic men, losing hundreds of thousands of dollars over a 40-year career.
But, that’s only part of the #AAPIEqualPay story. For certain communities, the wage gap is far greater. Vietnamese women earn $0.67, Hmong women earn $0.61, and Burmese women earn only $0.52, making them some of the lowest paid people in the nation. Even within high earning fields, Asian women are paid less than their male counterparts. “Model-minority” rhetoric is racist, classist, divisive, and just plain wrong. The wage gap effects ALL women. And we’ve ALL had enough.
Though we observe AAPI Women’s Equal Pay Day on February 23, 2021, we need to remember that equal pay day is not one size fits all for Asian women.