AANHPI women earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by white men, with certain ethnic groups earning as low as 48 cents per dollar

For Immediate Release: April 5, 2023
Contact: Virginia Lucy, media@napawf.org

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) observes Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Equal Pay Day, when the earnings of AANHPI women “catch up” to what white men made the previous year.

On average, AANHPI women earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by white, non-Hispanic men. But the average tells only part of the story. A closer look at disaggregated data reveals that certain ethnic groups experience much wider wage gaps. Nepali and Bagladeshi women, for instance, experience the greatest wage gaps at 48 cents per dollar.

“Our wages touch every aspect of our lives. It impacts our ability to access health care and make decisions about if, when, and how we start and support a family,” said Sung Yeon Choimorrow, NAPAWF’s executive director. “And when we examine wages using disaggregated data, we find that it upends the dangerous ‘model minority’ myth and the false idea that all Asian Americans are high-achieving immigrants and from financially prosperous communities.”

This year’s findings include part-time and seasonal workers, in addition to full-time workers, to more accurately reflect the economic realities of AANHPI women. More often than not, AAPI women are the primary earners and breadwinner for their families, living in multigenerational households where they not only carry the burden of child care but also the care of elderly parents and extended family members.

“AANHPI women’s work is undervalued and underpaid. From retail and restaurant workers, to personal care and service work, AANHPI women are overrepresented in some of the most poorly paid jobs in the country without access to paid medical or family leave,” Choimorrow said. “This lived reality is not only detrimental but normalizes the need to work multiple jobs and longer hours to just make ends meet. AANHPI women deserve access to economic opportunities that contribute to building independence and the ability to live with dignity for themselves and their families.”

NAPAWF will be hosting a social media storm today at 2PM ET/11AM PT to raise awareness on how the wage gap impacts AANHPI women and girls.

For more information on 2023 AANHPI Equal Pay Day, visit: https://www.napawf.org/equalpay

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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.