CHICAGO (CBS) -- Equal Pay Day rallies are being held across the country today, including right here in Chicago.
A few dozen gathered on Daley Plaza during the lunch hour to listen to activists discuss the need for equal pay between men and women.
Dorri McWhorter, CEO of the YWCA for metropolitan Chicago, says while these rallies have been going on for years, women are hopeful that equal pay is in the near future.
"We have this greater opportunity to just continue to increase awareness because there is so much going on with the economy that I think we can really leverage to increase opportunity for women," she said.
McWhorter says she was pleased with actress Patricia Arquette's acceptance speech at the Oscars because it brings more attention to the issue.
Melissa Josephs is with the organization Women Employed. She says they also want to see the Paycheck Fairness Act passed.
She says that would make sure employees had the right to discuss salaries with their coworkers in the open.
The crowd that gathered during the lunch hour included about 50 women and a handful of men.
In the mid 80's when Heidi Koberstine worked for a major corporation in IT, women made 64 cents for every dollar a man made.
"With the bonus he made five to ten thousands more a year than I did. not to mention the higher salary was higher," Koberstine said.
CBS 2's Dorothy Tucker reports women have seen some progress over the years, just not much. In 1990 for every dollar a man earned, women earned 71 cents. In 2,000 it was 73 cents, Today, 78 cents.
It's worse for women of color. Compared to men, African-American women only make 63 cents on a dollar. Latino women, just 56 cents.
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