HONOLULU (KHON2) — Lawmakers in Hawai’i want policy makers, employers and individuals to work towards the goal of ensuring women earn the same equal payment for services rendered as their male counter parts.

Historically, women have had few rights when it comes to money. That is until the 1960s when women took on financial institutions and the sexism that prevented them from accessing finances.

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It was in the 1960s when women gained the right to open their own bank account. This was the first time in modern recorded history in the U.S. that women were given this freedom. There were stipulations in this newfound freedom that were finally dealt with a decade later.

Women gained the right to keep their own paychecks in 1963. Women were not allowed legally to keep the monies they earned before the Equal Pay Act of 1963. Their paychecks were given to a caretaker or guardian before they could access the funds.

Equality in credit came to women in 1974. Prior to the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, women were required to bring a man along with them in order to cosign any credit application, regardless of their income. Banks also lowered the value of women’s wages and monies in order to prevent them from applying for loans.

Before the Pregnancy Discrimination Act in 1978, women could be fired from their jobs if they were pregnant.

In the 1960s and 1970s, women earned 57 cents for every dollar a man made. By 1990, that gap closed to 71 cents for women for every dollar a man earned. And, by 2010, women earned 81 cents for every dollar a man earned.

Today, thirteen years later, women have gained 3 pennies more for their work. Women now make 84 cents for every dollar a man makes. In 60 years, women have gained 27 cents in pay. That is less than half a penny each year gained by women.

Meanwhile, women now constitute 46% of heads of households as of 2020. That means that families have 16% less money to deal with life’s expenses.

Tuesday, March 14 was Equal Pay Day across the U.S. This day was created in 1996 and symbolizes the progress that women make each year.

“Equal pay is not just about women issues but about working families because in a household if a woman, if a mother makes 84 cents on a dollar, that means either that mother or the [other spouse] has to work that much harder,” said Lt. Governor Sylvia Luke.

Local big wave surf champion Keala Kennelly weighed in on the inequalities that even permeate the value of women in sports.

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“Competing on the world tour is expensive. There is a lot of traveling involved. Prize money alone was not alone to cover all the travel costs. It’s funny ‘cus I was getting paid 35 to 50 percent less for being a woman but airlines weren’t offering me a 35 to 50 percent discount on air fare,” said Kennelly.