JENKINTOWN, Pa., April 22 (UPI) — Campaigning in Pennsylvania Friday alongside an icon in the fight for women’s equality, Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton said putting a woman on the $20 bill isn’t enough, as long as women continue to make less money than men in the same jobs.
Clinton appeared at a diner in Jenkintown, Pa., with Lilly Ledbetter, the woman who sued her former employer after she learned she’d been paid less money than her male counterparts for years.
Ledbetter’s suit ultimately reached the U.S. Supreme Court, where she was ultimately denied compensation because she brought the lawsuit after she had retired.
Congress in 2009, though, passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which Clinton co-sponsored. The legislation made it illegal for companies to knowingly pay women less than men who do the same work.
Still, studies have shown that American women on average make about 76 cents on the dollar compared to men.
Clinton, who hailed the U.S. Treasury’s decision to feature abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the front of the $20 bill beginning in 2020, said the symbolic gesture is important but not sufficient as long as the wage gap exists.
“It’s not just enough to be on the money, you need to be making the money, and that’s what we want to talk about today,” she said.
Speaking to an intimate gathering of women at the diner, Clinton also said the next president needs to address issues facing girls and young women who are bullied.
“Even the most confident, well-prepared girl has to be worrying, like, ‘why are people picking on me?'” Clinton said. “So we’ve got to stand up against that.”
Herself no stranger to criticism over her political career, Clinton offered advice to young women: Listen to your critics, but still be your own person.
“Take criticism seriously, because you may actually learn something,” she said. “But don’t take it personally, because it can knock you to your knees. … It has taken me years to be able to say this but I really have kept that in my head.”