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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OPA News Release: [08/18/2010]
Contact Name: Tiffany March
Phone Number: (202) 693-4664
Release Number: 10-1166-NAT

Statement of US Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on 90th anniversary of Constitutionís 19th Amendment granting women right to vote

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis today issued the following statement on the 90th anniversary of the 19th Amendment's ratification:

"Today marks the 90th anniversary of a milestone in our country's history. After decades of fighting for equality, suffragists achieved a moral and legal victory in attaining the right of women to vote.

"Because of that victory, our nation was able to accomplish progress for women in many other areas, including major steps toward equality in employment. In 1963, the Equal Pay Act was signed, forbidding men to be paid more than women for the same job. A year later, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act was passed, prohibiting discrimination in employment on the basis of sex or race, along with other bases.

"Women are now present in virtually every occupation and currently fill many of the country's top leadership jobs, including three Supreme Court justices, four Cabinet positions and speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, among others.

"Although we have made great progress over the past nine decades, we still have a long way to go when it comes to equality for women in the workplace. Many families depend solely on women's paychecks; however, women still hold a majority of low-wage jobs. And the pay gap still exists despite the fact that more women are working than ever before.

"The Department of Labor is focused on promoting equal pay, work-life balance, paid leave and employment opportunities for all women. Without these measures, true equality cannot be realized.

"I believe that we can all agree work is about more than a paycheck. Work is about dignity and respect, just like the universal right to vote. Our common prosperity will be advanced by allowing all people, men and women, to reach their full potential. And that's what the Labor Department is working toward every single day."