February 11, 2020
Contact: Nikki Metzgar,, 202-599-7642

Washington, D.C. — Today, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum leads more than 60 organizations across the country in marking Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Equal Pay Day. February 11 is the symbolic day in the new year when AAPI women “catch up” to white men’s earnings from the previous year.  AAPI women, on average, earn 90 cents for every dollar that white, non-Hispanic men make. For some ethnic subgroups, the pay gap is much wider: Vietnamese American women made 67 cents for every dollar white men made last year and Cambodian American women made 57 cents. Together, we are raising awareness of how AAPI women and girls experience the wage gap and increasing visibility of work and wealth disparities in AAPI communities that are often rendered invisible in mainstream conversations about the wage gap.

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum Executive Director Sung Yeon Choimorrow issued the following statement:

“Race and ethnicity, age, whether you’re a mother — all these things affect how a woman experiences the wage gap. Because Asian American and Pacific Islander people are often lumped together and considered a monolith that is the ‘model minority,’ the reality of our struggles is made intentionally invisible. We’re working to shatter this myth and are calling for the resources that would help AAPI and immigrant women get affordable health care or support our families.”

The “model minority myth,” or the idea that all AAPI women are the same — high-achieving immigrants with stable incomes — furthers the misconception that they don’t need resources or support. This is far from true: many AAPI immigrant women struggle to afford necessities such as health care because of racial wage disparities, which are obscured by this myth and hidden in data that lumps all AAPI people together. The reality is that AAPI women are overrepresented in the most poorly paid jobs in the country. Already, immigrants in this country face significant barriers to getting health care. The consequences of the wage gap are real for women, their families, and their communities.


The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build collective power so that all AAPI women and girls can have full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.