First lady Jill Biden joined President Joe Biden — along with US Women’s National Soccer Team player Megan Rapinoe and Margaret Purce — for an event yesterday to mark Equal Pay Day. National Women’s Law Center data found that women working full-time, year-round jobs are typically paid just 82 cents for every dollar paid to men. (The gap widens further for Black, Latina and Native American women.)
Coming together at the White House on Wednesday, the group looked on as the president signed a proclamation recognizing the importance of the day. The first lady herself took the podium to speak about the importance of the day. “Equal work deserves equal pay… This issue is so much bigger than the number on a paycheck. Our work gives us a sense of purpose,” said Biden during the event.
With her outfit, Jill Biden emphasized strong femininity, giving the color pink a powerful moment in a coordinating blazer and flowing dress. She also broke out her signature nude heels, bearing resemblance to her previous picks from Jimmy Choo.
Rapinoe and Purce also made strong statements about the issue. “We are told in this country that if you just work hard and continue to achieve — you’ll be rewarded fairly. It’s the promise of the American dream. But that promise isn’t for everyone,” Rapinoe said in her opening remarks.
In 2019, 27 members of United States Women’s National Team filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. Last May, a judge in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California ruled the women could not prove discrimination over pay and partially granted the USSF’s motion for a partial summary judgment. In December, players settled for a portion of the lawsuit relating to claims of unequal working conditions, which included alleged differences between the men’s and women’s travel accommodations. However, the USWNT is still appealing the wage discrimination claims under the Equal Pay Act.
“Instead of lobbying with the women’s team and our efforts for equal pay and equality in general, the U.S. soccer federation has continually lobbied against our efforts, and the efforts of millions of people marginalized by gender in the United States,” said Rapinoe.