16 Quotes That Sum Up The Importance Of Equal Pay

You know what always baffles me? The fact that as humans, we are sophisticated enough a species to carry around hand-held computers in our pockets, and send people to space, and invent things like self-driving cars, and yet we still haven't been able to prioritize something so basic and so crucial as workplace equality. As these Equal Pay Day quotes show, bringing awareness to the wage gap is something that must be done if we are ever to effect change, and people? It's 2016 — it's time to effect change.

The fact of the matter is, even in today's modern world, the average American woman still only makes 77 cents to every dollar a man makes, and those statistics become even more appalling for African-American women (who earn 64 cents to every dollar) and Latinas (56 cents to the dollar). I find it truly bizarre (and honestly, sad) that we have to dedicate an entire calendar day to talking about paycheck inequality, but it's only through discourse that we can educate, rally, and impact. Equal Pay Day is an opportunity to discuss why, for the love of logic and reason, sexism in the workplace isn't just an ugly blip in American history, but a daily struggle and detriment to women working all around the country. Use these quotes to inspire conversation around you.

1. "Today there are people trying to take away rights that our mothers, grandmothers, and great-grandmothers fought for: our right to vote, our right to choose, affordable quality education, equal pay, access to health care. We the people can't let that happen." — Kerry Washington

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2. "If you say, I'm for equal pay, that's a reform. But if you say, I'm a feminist, that's a transformation of society." — Gloria Steinem

3. "Equal pay for equal work, paid leave, raising the minimum wage. All these things still matter to hardworking families; they are still the right thing to do; and I will not let up until they get done." — Barack Obama

4. "I think the girl who is able to earn her own living and pay her own way should be as happy as anybody on earth. The sense of independence and security is very sweet." — Susan B. Anthony

5. "I am a woman and, like millions of women, I know there are still barriers and biases out there, often unconscious, and I want to build an America that respects and embraces the potential of every last one of us." — Hillary Clinton

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6. "How can we effect change in the world when only half of it is invited or feel welcome to participate in the conversation?" — Emma Watson

7. "We also can't reward work and family unless men and women get equal pay for equal work." — Bill Clinton

8. "We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn’t a reality yet. Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change." — Beyonce

9. "Enable every woman who can work to take her place on the labour front, under the principle of equal pay for equal work." — Mao Zedong

10. "I have realized that fighting for women’s rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop." — Emma Watson


11. "Equal pay isn't just a women's issue; when women get equal pay, their family incomes rise and the whole family benefits." — Mike Honda

12. "Whoever controls work and wages, controls morals." — Susan B. Anthony

13. "A liberal government is committed to working with the provinces and territories to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work." — Justin Trudeau

14. "Achieving gender equality requires the engagement of women and men, girls and boys. It is everyone's responsibility." — Ban Ki-moon

15. "I learned a lesson long ago that if you surround yourself with people like you, you will have blind spots. Having women who bring new perspectives to our team is critical." — Ajay Banga

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16. "I do not wish women to have power over men; but over themselves." — Mary Shelley

Images: Dawn Foster/Bustle; Getty