FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 3/4/2014
Councilmember Kshama Sawant
Councilmember Jean Godden
Sawant, Godden Recognize Women’s History Month
Fight for Economic Opportunities, Reduce the Gender Gap
SEATTLE — Councilmember Kshama Sawant and Councilmember Jean Godden issued the following statement regarding Women’s History Month observed in March and the celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8. The Councilmembers salute all the women who struggle and have struggled for women’s rights around the globe, and the fight to reduce the gender gap to provide economic opportunities for women:
"Every gain for women’s rights was won through struggle. Our fight for a $15/hour minimum wage in Seattle is fundamentally a fight for women’s rights," said Sawant. "Two-thirds of minimum wage workers are women and one in five are mothers. Women are nearly two thirds of tipped workers and we must fight for a living wage for all workers, not based on the generosity of others."
Sawant cited the findings of the Restaurant Opportunities Center United: "Lowering the minimum wage for tipped workers is essentially creating legalized gender inequity in the restaurant industry and allowing a tip penalty would exacerbate the gender wage gap. Working women and people of color need $15/hour without tip penalties and we need it now."
The Restaurant Opportunities Center United also points out that female servers are paid 68 percent of the wage received by males, whereas African American women workers are making only 60 percent of what their male counterparts earn."A higher minimum wage is a powerful tool towards reducing income disparity between women and men," says Councilmember Godden (chair of the Council Committee overseeing Gender Equity. "Our city wants to be the best at bridging this gap; right now we have one of the worst gender wage gaps in the country."