Obama pushes to close gender gap – yet he pays women less than men

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from Washington Times,

Although his own White House pays women less on average than men, President Obama called on congressional Republicans Thursday to approve measures aimed at paying women better salaries and granting them more generous family leave.

Speaking to a largely female audience at Valencia College in Orlando, Fla., the president urged lawmakers to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would put the legal burden on employers to prove that differences in pay between male and female workers are not related to gender. Mr. Obama blamed Senate Republicans for blocking the legislation.

“We’ve got to get them to change their minds and join us in this century, because a woman deserves equal pay for equal work,” Mr. Obama said to laughter.

Citing studies that show women earn about 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man, Mr. Obama said, “That’s wrong. This isn’t 1958. It’s not that complicated. When women make less than men, that hurts their families, including their partners, their husbands, their kids.”

The president didn’t mention that women in his White House earn less, on average, than men. A review by McClatchy Newspapers in January found that women overall at the White House are paid an average 91 percent of what their male counterparts earn — $84,082 for men, $76,516 for women.

White House officials have said the study shouldn’t have looked at overall pay and instead compared employees in the same positions. For example, all press assistants earn $42,000 per year, regardless of gender.

The president also got the facts wrong when trying to make the argument that there should be more women in Congress.

“Part of our challenge is fewer than 20 seats in Congress are held by women,” he said. “I think we’re all clear that Congress would get more done if you kind of evened that out a little bit.”

He was talking about the percentage of seats held by women — 18.5 percent. There are 99 women in Congress; 20 in the Senate and 79 in the House.

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