Terri Sewell urges Alabamians to support equal pay, women’s rights
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, May 5, 2014
Birmingham, AL—As the nation celebrates Mother’s Day this Sunday, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell urges Alabamians to support equal rights and equal pay for all.
“When women succeed, America succeeds. Many of us stand on the shoulders of strong women throughout the 7th Congressional District who have fought for civil rights and women’s rights,” said Sewell, who in 2010 became the first African-American woman elected to Congress from the state of Alabama.
With the spotlight on Mother’s Day this week, Sewell challenged Alabamians to show appreciation “to the strong mothers who make Alabama and this nation great.” One way to ensure mothers get the respect they deserve is by supporting equal pay for women who do the same job as men, Sewell said.
Sewell said the pay gap between what women earn compared to men doing the same job is unacceptable. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, women earn 77 cents for every dollar paid to men. The pay gap is disproportionately wider for women of color, especially in Alabama. According to the National Women’s Law Center, (www.nwlc.org) women in Alabama earn 71.3 cents per every dollar paid to white men. African American women earn a mere 56.1 cents per dollar paid to white men.
“In an environment where more women are the breadwinners for their families, and African-American women earn only 56 percent of what men get, it is clear that we have much work to do in order to ensure equality and fairness for all,” Sewell said. “In Congress, I will continue to fight to ensure women get the pay and protections they deserve.”
Sewell has made standing up for women a top priority. She has been a leader in women’s organizations like EMILY’s List and the Women’s Campaign Forum. Sewell has one of the strongest voting records in Congress when it comes to legislation on equal pay and other women’s rights issues.
In March, Sewell hosted her third annual “Ultimate Ladies Power Lunch” in Birmingham, an event she began in 2012 to promote women’s empowerment and inspire other women to get involved in the political process. Keynote speakers have included Congresswoman Maxine Waters, D-California, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, and Alabama native Lilly Ledbetter, namesake of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.
Sewell is also involved in local and national efforts to encourage women to seek political office through groups such as U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s “Off the Sidelines.” She was inspired to run for Congress by her mother, Nancy Gardner Sewell, who was the first African-American woman elected to the city council in Selma. “As women, we should embrace the fact that our voice matters, and we can make a difference with our votes, our hard work, and by simply believing that we can,” Sewell.
For more information on Sewell’s re-election campaign, go to www.sewellforcongress.com.