Sunday, September 22, 2013


The Institute for Women’s Policy Research released important research this past week – the gender wage gap is projected to close!  IN 2058.  Does that make you furious?  Because it should.  It should make you furious because this year marks the 50th, let me repeat that, THE 50TH anniversary of the Equal Pay Act.  In those fifty years, the gap has closed by a whopping 18 cents.  On average today, women are paid about 77 cents for every dollar paid to men.  The gap widens for women of color.  In Michigan, women make about 73.8 cents for every dollar that men make, African American women tend to make 67.8 cents to every dollar of white man, and Hispanic women make 55.2 cents for every dollar a white man makes.  This should enrage you, or at least make you think, “hmm, that’s weird.” 

So, what can you do to help close the gap?  Support the passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act.  The Paycheck Fairness act would require employers to prove that pay disparities exist for real, job-related reasons, protect against retaliation for discussing salaries with colleagues, and more.  Call your Senators and tell them to support and vote for this legislation, help them get the ball rolling.  In addition, you can talk about these facts to friends, family, colleagues, and anyone.  Talk about the facts.    

Christina Soliz
NOW Intern


Institute for Women’s Policy Research:
IWPR analysis of data from DeNavas-Walt, Carmen, Bernadette D. Proctor, and Jessica C. Smith. 2013. U.S. Census Bureau, Current Population Reports, P60-245, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, Table A-4
National Women’s Law Center:
Overall figures calculated by NWLC are based on 2011 American Community Survey Data. Figures for African American women and Hispanic women calculated by NWLC are based on 2009-2011 American Community Survey Three-Year Estimates. State minimum wages from Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, "Minimum Wage Laws in the States – January 1, 2013". Minimum wages for tipped workers are often lower.

The Paycheck Fairness Act:
"Fair Pay." Fair Pay. National Partnership for Women and Families, n.d. Web.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Get Tested!

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), young people ages 13-29 years old account for 39 percent of all new HIV infections in 2009.  HIV is an infection that could turn into AIDS if untreated.  In the U.S., HIV is spread by having unprotected sex-anal or vaginal- or by sharing drug-use equipment with someone who is infected.  The 2009 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that many youths begin having sexual intercourse at a young age.  46 percent of high school students have had sexual intercourse, and 5.9 percent reported having sex before the age of 13.  A question on the survey asked if the respondent had had intercourse during the three months before the survey, and 34.2 percent of the students did.  Of that number, 38.9 percent did not use a condom.  Similarly, data from the CDC has shown that young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM), especially minority MSM, have high rates of new HIV infections.

So, what can be done about the increasing amount of HIV infections?


The only way to avoid HIV is to abstain from all sex and drug use, but we need to realize that this is not a reasonable method for adolescents.  Adolescents need accurate information on HIV and AIDS, they need to know how to reduce or eliminate the risks of getting HIV, they need to know how to talk to their partner about safe sex, how to properly use a condom, and where to get tested for HIV.  We need to take away the stigma of HIV and getting tested so that young people are not scared to ask for help if they need it.

To find an HIV testing site, go to:

Christina Soliz
NOW Intern