Native American women have one of the largest wage gaps in the country, earning approximately 51 cents per dollar paid to the average white man. This wage gap does more than severely limit the economic stability for Native women– it perpetuates the longstanding impacts of colonialism and state-sanctioned violence on Native and Indigenous communities throughout U.S. history.
Equity for Native women means listening to the needs and demands of Native communities for respect of sovereignty, ceremony, and culture. It means raising awareness and seeking justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (#MMIW). And it also means honoring and uplifting the existence of Two-Spirit and transgender Native people in a world that struggles to see beyond the gender binary.
At 51 cents on the dollar for white men, the average Native woman must work twice as hard, so we need to be twice as determined to close the gender and race-based wage gap.
Bringing awareness to this day is just one of many steps to closing the wage gap. We encourage you to listen to and follow Native-led organizations that are doing work on the ground such as Return to the Heart Foundation, Native Women Lead, or Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women.
For more Equal Pay Days and information, head over to Equal Pay Today by clicking here.