By Kelly Ross

Women’s rights were at the forefront of this year’s presidential election in the wake of Hillary Clinton’s historic campaign and President Elect Donald Trump’s sexist, misogynistic and outright bigoted rhetoric. Given the blatant disrespect and depression of women being rampant in the news, it is painfully clear that the fight for gender equality is far from over.

While women still have a long way to go to gain equality, it is important to remember how far we have come. Without the efforts of unions advocating for the equal rights of women, legislation like the Equal Pay Act of 1963 would have never come to fruition.

The Equal Pay Act prohibited gender-based wage discrimination if a man and woman performed jobs that required the same skill, effort and responsibility. The act was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy - a prominent supporter of organized labor - and it aimed to abolish wage disparity based on sex.

In 1963 women made up less than 25 percent of the workforce and they earned nearly 40 percent less than their male counterparts. Nowadays women on average earn 77.4 cents to a man’s dollar, which is definitely a step in the right direction.

So, this Thanksgiving holiday make sure to reflect on the progress our nation has made towards gender equality, and give thanks for the Equal Pay Act of 1963.

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