Equal Pay Act

"To be revolutionary is to be original..." -Aileen Hernandez

~Major Events~

On June 10, 1963, John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act into law in the Oval Office surrounded by Women's Rights activists. The Equal Pay Act prohibited discrimination of sex in payment by their emplyers. Women, of course, played a major part, but also earned the help of some men who joined the suffrage. The Equal Pay act was one of the many steps that would push women towards the eradication of sexual discrimination.

~Aileen Hernandez~

~How She Worked Towards Equal Pay~

Aileen Hernandez, born May 23, 1926, was an African American Civil Rights activist as well as a Women's Rights activist. As a child, her parents taught her that men and women were equal by treating her and her brother the same way (they taught Hernandez's brother to sew to get the point across). Hernandez originally fought for Civil Rights in the National Association of the Advancement of Colored People then worked as an intern/organizer for the International Ladies Garment Workers' Union. Afterwards, she took a break from union organization and took a step into politics as the chief of the California Division of Fair Employment Practice Commission. President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed her (to be the first woman) on the five-member commission of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission but soon after resigned from frustration over their lack of progress. Instead of simply joining another commission, she established Hernandez and Associates to help private groups and women (and also minority of men) with legal and business issues. As a result of Aileen Hernandez's work, she was able to gain the support of African American women in the suffrage.

~Think Deep!~

Question: How has the Equal Pay Act affected the women who followed?

Answer:The Equal Pay Act is still in effect today. It was one of the several successful attempts of the eradication of sexual discrimination.

Question: How would life be different if the Equal Pay Act had not occurred?

Answer: Without the Equal Pay Act, women would not have the luxury of being payed the same amount as men are for doing the same job.

Question: How has the Equal Pay Act affected you as an individual?

Answer: The Equal Pay Act has affected me in two major ways. For one, since the Equal Pay Act is still in effect, it allows my mother to earn fair money from her job. This way, my family of five wouldn't be completely dependent on my father's income. Secondly, as a lady, I have been affected by the Equal Pay Act inevitably, and would undoubtedly be even more affected in the future in which most of my rights could come into play.


-"Equal Pay Act (1963)." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 6 Mar. 2014.

-"President John F. Kennedy signs the Equal Pay Act." Image. Business and Professional Women (BPW/USA).American History. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 6 Mar. 2014.

-Valente, Jose. "Aileen Hernandez." American History. ABC-CLIO, 2014. Web. 6 Mar. 2014.