Oscar-winning actress Patricia Arquette joined U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) on Equal Pay Day to highlight the findings of a new Congressional report on the wage gap between men and women in the United States.
“Women have been fighting for equal rights for 227 years, and at this point now we’ve reached a breaking point,” Arquette said during an appearance with Maloney on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports.
The Joint Economic Committee’s report shows that women’s median earnings are $10,800 less per year than men’s, which adds up to a huge disparity over a lifetime of work. Arquette, an outspoken advocate of equal pay who addressed the subject during her 2015 Oscar acceptance speech, said Tuesday that the issue extends far beyond Hollywood.
“We see this pay discrepancy between women and men in 98 percent of all industries,” she said. “So it’s impacting women across the board. … It costs the average woman almost half a million dollars over her lifetime, the gender pay gap. And with women with higher education, it costs them $2 million over their lifetime. So it’s an enormous impact.”
Equal Pay Day is observed April 12; the date symbolizes how far into the year women must work to earn as much money as men were paid in the previous year.
Several other celebrities also voiced their support for pay equality on social media, including singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow, actress Connie Britton, soccer star Hope Solo, and actor Mark Ruffalo. See a sampling below.