End pay inequity for women
Today thousands of women across the United States will mark Equal Pay Day. It is symbolic of the point into the new week a woman must work to earn the wages paid to a man in the previous week.
On a national level, women are paid 77 cents for every dollar a man is paid, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Because women earn less, they must work longer for the same pay.
In Kansas, according to census figures, women earn 76 percent of what men do. Women in Kansas earn a median income of $32,341, while men earn $42,494. As a group, women in Kansas lose about $7 million each year because of the wage gap. This gap would provide money for women and families in the following ways: 83 more weeks of food, eight more months of mortgage and utilities payments, 14 more months of rent, 2.7 more years of family health insurance premiums, and more than 2,500 gallons of gasoline. Women in Kansas are increasingly responsible for the economic security of their families.
Poll after poll demonstrates that unfair pay ranks as one of the top issues of concern for working women. Over a 40-year career, the average 25-year-old woman who works full time will earn at least half a million dollars less than the average man, if current wage patterns continue. The wage gap not only affects women while they are working but follows them into retirement, as they receive lower pension and Social Security benefits based on the lower salaries they received while working.
It is time to put an end to pay inequity.
This letter was submitted by the following members of the Wichita branch of the American Association of University Women: Paula Shields, Sally Dewey, Sally Hayes, Patti Ashley, Jane Link and Kathryn Compton.
I recently met an older couple in Sunday school. They had just moved to Kansas. This is their story.
Both had quickly married their high school sweethearts, which resulted in divorces. Then they had married again and had children. Their spouses’ cancers were not pretty. They met in a cancer support group. He is a veteran, and she has a son who retired in our community after serving at McConnell Air Force Base.
I said that they needed to register to vote before June. They asked me why. I explained that the law might change then if Secretary of State Kris Kobach gets his way. It could take lots of time, energy and money to get the documentation necessary if they wait to register until later.
The fellow would only need his birth certificate. But she could be required to show her out-of-state birth certificate, her two out-of-state wedding certificates, one divorce decree, one death certificate for her deceased husband, and her current marriage certificate. She could be required to do all that to show the paper trail that resulted in her current legal name.
Welcome to Kansas.
ELLEN F. ESTES
Cheaper than war
The April 12 article regarding the Afghan opium crop financing the Taliban and associated mayhem noted that this year’s harvest is worth $4 billion, and that the Taliban would get about 10 percent. Only $4 billion?
So for the cost of about two weeks of military operations over there, we could own the biggest opium crop in the world, make all the Afghan farmers our friends for buying their harvest, put the Taliban out of business and, by the way, control the world’s supply of heroin, crushing organized crime while sending most of the troops home?
We could end the war in Afghanistan – and the threat of terrorism coming from there – simply by setting up a farmers market? That sounds to me like a good alternative to the current course of action.
People might be surprised to learn which chronic childhood illness is most prevalent. It’s not asthma or diabetes. It’s dental decay.
As a pediatrician, I see children who are suffering from poor oral health. Childhood dental decay causes pain and poor school performance, missed school days, and embarrassment for ugly smiles. Some toddlers have to have general sedation in an operating room to repair their rotten baby teeth.
It’s shameful to see our kids suffer this way when there’s an easy fix our city could implement: water fluoridation.
Wichita is one of the four largest cities in the United States without fluoridated water, and it’s time we changed that.
Fluoride is a mineral that exists naturally in some water supplies. Fluoride swallowed in water coats teeth and helps prevent cavities. When kids drink fluoridated water, it makes teeth more resistant to decay.
Health experts agree that fluoridated water is safe for all people. The American Academy of Pediatrics says fluoride “plays a very important role in the prevention of dental decay.”
It’s time for Wichita to fluoridate our water supply. It’s a smart investment and an easy preventive strategy that benefits everyone, especially children. Water fluoridation is the healthiest choice for Wichita.
REBECCA H. REDDY