THE BLOG
04/04/2014 04:39 pm ET Updated Jun 04, 2014

Equal Pay and Some Common Sense

In the United States, we'll mark Equal Pay Day on April 8 this year. This day, unfortunately, is when women's wages catch up to what men earned by December 31, 2013. That's right. Women in the U.S. have to work about three months more to make what a man earned last year.

Pay equity isn't just about fairness, though. Where women spend their money shows just how important equal economic opportunities are for entire communities' well-being, no matter where a woman lives.

Globally, women's earnings are largely used for family necessities. Money they earn -- whether through working in a factory in Bangladesh, Mexico or the United States; whether they are educated; and whether they are the breadwinner -- goes toward school fees for children, medicine for ailing parents, a daily family meal, and other household necessities.

90 percent of what a woman brings home will go directly back into care or goods for her family, according to the World Bank.

Healthy, educated families and communities are directly related to country stability and prosperity. And it has been proven time and again that women's economic advancement is directly correlated to the economic advancement of her community and her country.

Not to mention that women's economic opportunities increase their power within the family and community. Humaira Shahid, a phenomenal women's rights activist in Pakistan, recently told me, "When women put bread on the table, they become decision makers."

Given that this is true worldwide, why is it so hard to secure safe, consistent economic opportunities and protections for women?

Imagine how much further our schools, communities, and the health of our families would be if women were paid the same as men. Or if women living in poverty were given the same opportunity to succeed.

Communities and even whole nations suffer when women lack the ability to fully and equally participate in the economy. The authors of the World Economic Forum's "Global Gender Gap Report 2009" wrote that gender inequity in economic participation as well as other realms (think political participation, education, and more) has led to "colossal losses to the global society and economy."

This Equal Pay Day, let's commit to change that once and for all.