Today, President Obama commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act at the White House with the help of impressive women including female lawmakers, top advisers, and other community leaders. Signed into law by John F. Kennedy in 1963, the act made it illegal for an employer to discriminate against employees based on sex, specifically calling for equal wages among men and women. There's still a disparity between the sexes, though, with women earning about 77 cents for every dollar men earn, and today, Obama said, "It's the 21st century. It's time to close that gap."
It's been an important issue for Obama — the first bill he signed into law was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, which lets the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit reset with each affected paycheck. Speaking to today's mostly female audience, he made his stance clear: "When more women are bringing home the bacon, they shouldn't just be getting a little bit of bacon."