Native Women Equal Pay Day

Written by Megan Red Shirt-Shaw, Founder of Natives In America

“September 27th is Native Women Equal Payday. It represents the fact that, on average, Indigenous women are paid just 57% of what white men are paid. We’re all phenomenal women, and we all deserve equal pay for equal work. “

 

Think about the women in your life. Think about the phenomenal Native women you know. How do you position their power?

 

When I call women I admire to my own mind, I see them working minimum wage jobs to put themselves through school, striving for degrees that will further their success in the job search. I see them as entrepreneurs creating small business with fair wages, so their communities don’t have to travel away from home to find good jobs. I see them as the women working late night shifts, women taking on extra hours, and women who carry and contribute more than every other person in the room. I see them in my own stories trying to piece together what success is supposed to look like in a colonized world, not even realizing that we operate in spaces that decide to pay us less for our power.

 

In honor of these stories, I’ve decided that this September 27th, I am calling on Indigenous women to remember their worth. I am actively deciding to empower myself to make a difference for other women like me – who persist for 43% less than what we deserve.

 

Today we can be celebrated as contemporary and committed citizens to the economies of our tribal nations and American society. We will no longer allow history to relegate us to roles that were not traditional to our communities, as women without power or agency. We will know our value. We will honor our time. We will encourage each other to discuss our salaries. To negotiate our pay. We will turn down positions that do not compensate us for what we deserve until we find one that does. We will acknowledge our privileges in being able to turn down those jobs and fight for the Native women we know who don’t have the ability to say no to unfair wages. We will speak out. We will demand better. We will be recognized for the work we as Native women do every day. Equally.

We are Phenomenal women. Phenomenal Native women.

#NativeWomensEqualPay #DemandMore #Equity #EqualPay

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Calina Lawrence Photo by @JoeyyMontoya