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I am a student at the United States Military Academy at West Point NY and I am currently in an American Politics class. I am working on a research paper about the Equal Pay Act of 1963, a very important act for the equal pay of women. As you know this Act was only a step in the right direction because of the different clauses etc. that employers can use to circumvent it's effects. We obviously still have a lot of work to do as a nation to even the gap between the pay of men and women (currently women only make 75 cents for every dollar of their male counterparts).

I was wondering if your organization could either send me information or point me in the direction of where to find information regarding the setting around the passage of this Act. More specifically, I am trying to find out what groups lobbied for and against this Act and the political climate surrounding it. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much for your time.

Cadet Timothy R. Youngs

Thanks for your note to Feminist.com--and for bringing attention to the inequities that still exist in pay scales for men and women. Yes, women--on average--only make 75 cents to the male dollar--and that discrepancy becomes so much worse, when you consider race. So, yes, that situation needs all of the help it can get.

In response to your specific question on the Equal Pay Act of 1963, I found the following information in The Readers Companion to U.S. Women's History:

--The campaign for equal pay really began in the 19th century, as "a demand of male trade unionists to prevent wage cutting by women in unregulated labor markets and was supported by several federal agencies during" WWI.

--In the early 1960s, the Women's Bureau resumed this earlier campaign.

As for those who opposed it, I imagine it was some earilier version of Phyllis Shafley's The Eagle Forum, but I don't know exactly. Perhaps you could contact Nine-to-Five and/or the National Committee on Pay Equity about their interpretation of how this came to pass. Also, any information related to JFK's administration might have some information.

Good luck--and hopefully careful attention such as this will mean that closing the wage gap will happen in the not too distant future.


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