Closing the Gap: 5 Ways to Advocate for Latina Equal Pay Year-Round

5 Ways to Advocate for Latina Equal Pay curly haired woman speaking to a group of women

October 5th, 2023, marks how far into the new year the average Latina must work to match what the average white, non-Hispanic man made the year before. That means the average Latina must work almost an entire additional year to catch up to what an average white man made the previous year.

Now, there is no magical solution to closing the wage gap for Latina women. But if we don’t start to actively work towards doing that, it’s estimated that we won’t achieve pay equality for 200 years. It’s not even an exaggeration, as much as we wish it were.

We need to raise awareness, but at the same time, Latinas need to continue to develop the skills to get ourselves ahead. We can help change the system while helping ourselves as a collective solution to the problem. Read on for five practical ways you can start to make a difference.

Stay Informed

It can be hard to know what you should be paid when you have yet to learn what other people with similar skill sets are earning. Start by doing your research on sites like Payscale and Salary. That way, you can reference what a fair wage looks like for your position.

Now that you know what you should be getting paid, it’s crucial to learn how to demand and negotiate it. This Luz Community workshop will help you learn the right tactics to get paid equitably, influencing your boss and HR to be on your side where merit pay doesn’t exist, and provide strategies to increase your chances to get a raise with documented proof in a system where performance reviews don’t work.

Lastly, know your rights at work. Did you know it may be illegal in your state for your employer to ask about what you previously earned? Are you aware that you can file a claim under the Equal Pay Act? The better informed you are, the better you can educate those around you and advocate for equality in your workplace.

Make A Change Where You Can

If you’re an employer or in a position to make or influence decisions related to hiring personnel, you can support pay transparency by eliminating rulesthat prohibit workers from asking about or discussing their pay. You can ensure transparency by disclosing salary ranges in job postings, avoiding using salary history when deciding what to pay someone or whether or not to hire them, and providing clear information about bonuses and career paths for your employees.

When given the opportunity, it’s crucial that we enact change and work towards lifting up others. Even though you might’ve struggled to get there, the goal is to make other Latinas’ career paths easier, never harder!

Make Your Voice Heard and Your Vote Count

Voting for representatives taking a stand on Latina Equal Pay is crucial to change. The Latina wage gap stems from many discriminatory practices, unequal education opportunities, racial biases, and much more. It is a systemic issue that should be rooted out through policies that demand accountability and transparency.

Identifying your local elected officials and where they stand on Latina pay equality, keeping up with what they’re working on, and asking candidates running for office about their plan to close the gender and racial pay gap is a great way to give equity the attention it deserves.

Support Organizations Fighting For Equal Pay

Fighting for economic and political parity for Latinas is no easy feat. Luckily there are many organizations doing the work. Equal Pay Today is an organization seeking to eradicate the long-standing gender wage gap impacting women’s economic security, families, and communities of color. Justice for Migrant Women aims to ensure that all migrant women are guaranteed human and civil rights. Lean In is an organization advocating for better public policies and a more equitable workplace. And LCLAA is the leading national organization for Latino workers and their families, to name only a few.

There are many ways you can support these organizations in their efforts to ensure workplace equality for Latinas and other women of color. Consider donating, signing up for one of their virtual or IRL events, and keeping up with them on social media to learn more about their work.

Continue Raising Awareness

Social Media is a powerful tool that can help us spotlight important issues affecting Latina women. Luckily, there are so many ways you can advocate for #LatinaEqualPay with the tap of a finger.

  • Follow @theluzmedia on Instagram and join the conversation using the hashtag #LatinaEqualPay. You can help us spread the word by resharing our posts and editorials.
  • Have a story to share? Tag us so we can boost!
  • Start your own conversation by creating a Twitter thread. You can tag your local representatives and elected officials to ask about what they’re doing to close the gap.
  • Follow the #LatinaEqualPay hashtag on IG to stay up-to-date on news and events.

How will you choose to get involved today and year-round?

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Women in Texas at the National Women's March, rallying against deadly abortion restrictions.
Lucy Flores

The landscape of abortion rights in the United States has become more restrictive than ever in recent history, particularly in Arizona and Florida, where recent developments represent a major setback for women’s reproductive rights. On April 9, the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in a 4-to-2 decision to uphold an 1864 law banning abortion from the moment of conception. The only exception is saving the mother’s life, but there are no exceptions for rape or incest under this law.

Just a few days earlier, on April 1, the Florida Supreme Court also ruled in favor of upholding a 6-week abortion ban, which will take effect on May 1. This further reduced the legal threshold for abortions in Florida, which used to be 24 weeks of pregnancy before Republicans passed a law in 2022 banning abortions after 15 weeks. Both of these rulings have sparked intense debate and outrage about their impact on women’s rights.

Overview of the Near-Total Abortion Ban in Arizona

The Arizona Supreme Court voted to uphold an 1864 law, a law passed even before the state officially was a part of the United States of America, that makes all types of abortion illegal, including medication abortion, from the moment of conception. Though there are exceptions in cases where the mother’s life is at risk, the ban makes no exceptions for cases of rape or incest and imposes severe penalties, including imprisonment, on medical professionals performing abortions.

Medical professionals have spoken out about how dire the situation will become for women with this near-total abortion ban. Dr. Jill Gibson, chief medical director of Planned Parenthood in Arizona, told CNN that this ruling will have “absolutely unbelievable consequences for the patients in our community.” She continued by saying, “Providers need to be able to take care of their patients without fear of legal repercussions and criminalization.”

Representatives from Arizona and other states across the country have also spoken up against this near-total abortion ban.

Video by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramVideo by Shontel Brown Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram

Image by Rub\u00e9n Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on InstagramImage by Rubén Gallego Member of the United States House of Representatives on Instagram

Until this Arizona Supreme Court decision, abortion had been legal in the state up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. The right to abortion via Roe v. Wade prevented the enforcement of the near-total abortion ban, but since a majority vote in the Supreme Court of the United States overturned Roe, those opposed to abortion rights had been fighting to enforce the 160-year-old 1864 law.

This new abortion ban in Arizona is not effective immediately as the court has paused its ruling for 14 days until additional arguments are heard in a lower court about how constitutional the law is. However, the law will likely come into effect in May, a few weeks from now. Planned Parenthood Arizona, the largest abortion provider in the state, will continue serving the community until the ban is enforced.

An Overview of Florida's Six-Week Abortion Ban

The landscape of abortion in Florida has also undergone a significant change with the enforcement of a 6-week abortion ban, replacing the previous 15-week limit. This ban, similar to Arizona's, severely restricts access to abortion care and poses a significant challenge to reproductive rights in the state. Providers are bracing for a public health crisis due to the increased demand for abortion and limited options for patients.

Practically speaking, a 6-week abortion ban is a near-total abortion ban because pregnant people often don’t even realize they could be pregnant by this early stage. Combined with Florida’s strict abortion requirements, which include mandatory in-person doctor visits with a 24-hour waiting period, it’s nearly impossible for those who may want an abortion to be able to access it before 6 weeks. Not to mention that fulfilling the requirements is particularly challenging for low-income individuals.

Video by theluncheonlawyer on InstagramVideo by theluncheonlawyer on Instagram

Moreover, this Florida law also restricts telemedicine for abortion and requires that medication be provided in person, effectively eliminating mail-order options for abortion pills. While exceptions for rape and incest exist in Florida, the requirements are also strict, asking victims to provide police records or medical records. For victims who don’t always report sexual violence for many different reasons, these exceptions don’t make a difference.

The consequences of Florida’s ban extend to neighboring states with more restrictive abortion laws. For instance, residents of Alabama, facing a total ban on abortion, and Georgia, with its own 6-week abortion ban, have relied on Florida for abortion services. That will no longer be an option, further limiting care alternatives.

The Road Ahead

These recent abortion bans in Arizona and Florida are a major setback for women's rights, particularly impacting Latina women who already face barriers to accessing quality healthcare. These bans not only restrict women’s reproductive freedom but also endanger their lives.

Efforts to challenge these bans through legal means and ballot measures are ongoing, but the road ahead is uncertain. While there’s hope for overturning these abortion bans, the challenges of conservative laws and legal battles are formidable. The November ballot in both states will be crucial in determining the future of abortion rights and access for all.