Biden, Rapinoe push for gender pay equity

Rapinoe and Purce went to the White House to mark Equal Pay Day with Biden, and their teammates who attended virtually.

"I've been devalued, I've been disrespected and dismissed because I am a woman," Rapinoe said at the White House. "I've been told I don't deserve any more than less... Despite all the wins, I'm still paid less than men who do the same job that I do."

Wednesday is Equal Pay Day, which marks how much longer into a new year U.S. women on average must work to earn what the average man earned the previous year.

The pay gap is far greater when calculated for Black women, who earn 63 cents on the dollar, and Latina women, who earn just 55 cents, and the gap likely widened during the coronavirus pandemic, experts say.

"Equal pay" became a huge rallying cry for the soccer squad led by Megan Rapinoe, which won the Women’s World Cup for a second consecutive time in 2019, and fans after the team sued U.S. Soccer, alleging gender discrimination.

Video Transcript

JILL BIDEN: How do we value women when they have to work three months and 24 days longer to say-- to make the same amount as their male colleagues? How do we value the Black and Latina women who have to work many months more just to make up that same number? Equal work deserves equal pay, no matter who does it.

MEGAN RAPINOE: I'm a member of the LGBTQ community with pink hair. And where I come from, I could have only dreamed that I would be standing in the position I am today at the White House. I'm also a professional athlete. And I've helped-- along with all of my teammates virtually here today, one teammate literally here today-- win four World Cup championships and four Olympic gold medals for the United States.

And despite those wins, I've been devalued, I've been disrespected, and dismissed because I am a woman. And I've been told that I don't deserve any more than less, because I am a woman. You see, despite all the wins, I'm still paid less than men who do the same job that I do. And I know that there are people who experience even more where the layers of discrimination continue to stack against them.

JOE BIDEN: I'm an unadulterated fan. Not a joke, not a joke. And both of you and your entire team-- I'm not joking-- have inspired our daughters and our granddaughters, who I might add, are all really good athletes. My administration is going to fight for equal pay, for as it become a reality for all women.

It's about justice. It's about fairness. It's about living up to our values, and who we are as a nation. Equal pay makes all of us stronger. Why? When your spouse or your sister is making the same amount of money the man she's standing next to making it means that when the hot water heater breaks, you can replace it. Or you can get four new tires on the car.

It means everybody's life is made better in that family. Let me close with this. That to come out of this crisis and build back better, we need to erase the gender pay gap. There's a lot to do, but together we can ensure that our daughters have all the same rights and opportunities as our sons.