Women Faith Leaders call for Minimum Wage Increase

Adam DeRose |

This week, Interfaith Worker Justice and our interfaith affiliates are celebrating International Women’s Day (this Saturday) by lifting up the struggles of all the hardworking women who make up nearly two-thirds of our nation's minimum wage earners.

Today in D.C., we joined U.S. Senators Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI), women religious leaders from across faith traditions and working women to remind Congress that the federal minimum wage is woefully low and creating an immoral reality for women across all 50 states. We’re calling on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, which would lift the wages of millions of American women!

Sen Boxer- Min Wage“No one in America should have to live in poverty after putting in a full day’s work, and yet that is the case today,” Senator Boxer said. “The good news is that when we raise the minimum wage, it will lift the wages of 15 million women nationwide. When we lift the salaries of these workers, it helps their children and their families.”

Sr. Simone Campbell from NETWORK, a Catholic Social Justice Lobby joined Kathy Salie, IWJ board member; Nancy Duff Campbell, National Women’s Law Center co-president; Nyah Potts, a tipped wage worker at the Aria restaurant in the Ronald Reagan federal building; and the Rev. Jen Butler, Faith in Public Life executive director, .

Sr. Simone reminded lawmakers that people of faith are united in supporting the push for a moral minimum wage, and $7.25 per hour simply doesn’t lift up the dignity of work. It’s time our elected officials fix it:

“Pope Francis said that a society that “does not pay a just wage, that does not give work” to people and that “only looks to its balanced books, that only seeks profit” is unjust. He says the role of government is to respond to people’s needs and ensure the common good.
"In our nation, it is unjust that highly profitable companies pay poverty level wages to workers who create the wealth for those at the top yet cannot afford even the basic necessities of life. Therefore, our Christian faith demands that government protect workers, raise the minimum wage thus allowing workers to live in dignity, and promote the common good.”

Today President Barack Obama took the message of a fair minimum wage to Connecticut where he once again urged Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour.

Minimum Wage is Definitely a Women’s Issue

Nyah-Good Jobs Nation-Min WageThe facts don’t lie. One in five working women would see a raise if Congress acted to pass legislation, and more than 17 million children would have a parent get a raise under the proposed bill. Working families deserve a fair and just wage with which they can provide for their children and loved ones.

“The minimum wage is a critical women's issue. Women are two-thirds of workers earning the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. Senator Harkin's proposed legislation to increase the minimum wage to $10.10 would give over 15 million women a raise, including almost five million working moms,” said Nancy Duff Campbell.

Celebrate International Women’s Day this year by contacting your legislator and urging them to stand with working families and support the Fair Minimum Wage Act! Click here to take action.