Native Women's Equal Pay Day - Sept. 23

posted on September 19, 2019

The United Methodist Social Creed reads, “We believe in the right and duty of persons to work for the glory of God and the good of themselves and others and in the protection of their welfare in so doing” (¶166)  Research shows that the gender pay gap has been narrowing since 1980, but research also shows that the gap remains persistent.  This disparity in pay contributes to both economic injustice and gender injustice.  Women consistently do not make the same dollar to dollar as men.  Even more, the data shows that the amount of pay disparity between women and men is correlated to race.

The reality of the 21st Century is that on average Native women earn 58 cents for every dollar white, non-hispanic men earn.  This means that Native women would have to work 22 months in order to earn as much as what their white male counterpart makes in 12 months.  Native Women’s Equal Pay Day, September 23, 2019, signifies the day on which Native American women will have earned the same amount white men earned at the end of 2018.  Native women are up against one of the worst pay gaps in the US, and unlike common thought, having higher education and advanced degrees do not help minimize the pay gap.  Having advanced degrees actually widened the gap for Native women.

Why Should I Care?

We, at MFSA, believe that all gender identities are beautiful and created in God’s image and should be treated equitably with dignity and respect.  Contrary to this truth, society, with its discriminatory biases and policies, often frame women and femininity as being less than men and masculinity.  This worldview that deems women/femininity less than men/masculinity hold up oppressive systems where women are given less economic, educational, and life opportunities.  Similarly, the worldview that deems whiteness as smarter, stronger, and more valuable than people of color uphold the oppressive systems of white supremacy and racism.  In this particular instance, we see the intersection of gender and race and how the two oppressive systems of patriarchy and racism compound to more negatively impact already marginalized communities in our society.

By removing unequal and inequitable practices such as the gender pay gap, we work towards building a more beloved community.  As Sarah Eagle Heart, @Ms_EagleHeart, put it, “Now is the time to make visible the invisible: to acknowledge omitted history & break free of false narratives that divide & disempower.”

On #NativeWomensEqualPay Day, Monday, September 23, please join the great cloud of witnesses and advocates at 2:00PM ET on FaceBook and Twitter to #DemandMore for Native Women at work, at home, in society, and at the ballot box.  #EqualPay

Learn more about the United Methodist Church's Native and Indigenous ministries:

Native Peoples and the UMC
Native American Comprehensive Plan
Native American International Caucus
Oklahoma Indian Missionary Conference


Please share widely in your networks, local church, MFSA Regional Community newsletter and/or website and facebook page.  Stay connected and continue the conversation on gender, racial, and economic justice by following MFSA's posts and tweets on Monday, September 23, 2019.