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In California, Latinas Make Less Than Half Of What White Men Do For The Same Job

Latinas have long fought for equal rights in this country, making incredible strides that — albeit are threatened under this current administration — benefit all of our lives today. But there remains incredible battles ahead of us, including the long fight for equal pay. The issue is pronounced in California, where a new study shows that Latinas make 42 cents to a white man’s dollar, compared to the national disparity of 54 cents to every dollar paid to white, non-Latino men.

Last month, Mount Saint Mary’s University released its Report On The Status of Women and Girls in California, which highlights the areas women are succeeding in and where we have more work to do. Although the report shows progress in some areas, Latinas continue to struggle.

Latinas make up 38 percent of all women in “The Golden State,” the highest population of all races and ethnicities. Of them, less than half — 35 percent — are employed, and as many as 21 percent live at the federal poverty level. This is important, especially considering that 40 percent of Latina mothers bring in 40 percent or more of their family’s income, meaning their households rely on their wage to survive. As a result, at least 1.1 million Latina-headed family households live in poverty.

My parents always encouraged me to obtain an education. Actually, they left me no choice. “Ponte las pillas para que no te mates como yo,” they’d tell me as I jumped off my dad’s pick-up truck. My mother and my father were forced to drop out of school to help their families, a common story for many Latinxs. That’s why they hoped their kids would become successful and have a better life than they did. But, as the study shows, even educated Latinas are impacted by the state’s gender wage gap.

The median annual earning for California Latinas is $31,122. This is highly discouraging for those of us paying off $40,000 tuitions for our four-year college educations, which about 13 percent of Latinas in the state have.

Although we continue to work hard to sustain our lives and that of our parents, we constantly find ourselves in the same place because of these economic disparities. And for those of us who do start families of our own, the wage gap, on average, only widens.

“Childbearing and child-raising is a driving force in the widening of the pay gap for American women in the 25-34 age range,” the report notes. When women return to work after giving birth, they often also need to secure money to pay for childcare. When they can’t afford this and need to spend more time at home, they are more likely to be overlooked for promotions and other job opportunities.

On Equal Pay Day — a symbolic day showing how far into the year women must work in order to earn what their white, male counterparts do — though it actually takes much longer for Latinas — we are dedicated to raising awareness of the gender pay gap, and we want you to join us.

We need to be better allies to one another as well as provide support and mentorship to women who look up to us as leaders, role models and mentors. Together, we can accomplish anything. ¡Estamos juntas en esta lucha!

Read: How To Support Latinas And Close The Wage Gap For Equal Pay Day

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This Latina Broke The Marathon World Record At Just 16 Years Old And We’re Starting To Think She’s A Super-Human

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This Latina Broke The Marathon World Record At Just 16 Years Old And We’re Starting To Think She’s A Super-Human

At 12, Blanca Ramirez broke a global marathon record. At 16, she’s running to top her only competition: herself.

In 2015, The La Puenta, Calif.-based teen became the youngest female runner to complete seven marathons in seven different continents, running in Rwanda, New Zealand, Paraguay, China, France and Antarctica.

Her interest in international marathons started when she was 10 years old. She had just completed a long-distance running race in Disneyland and was hungry for more. She told her dad she wanted to beat the world record, but he thought she was joking at first.

“It seemed like it was something impossible,” her father Dimas Ramirez told NBC News. “I told her to prove to me she could run a marathon. She ran a 5K, then a 10K and-a-half marathon and then I let her do the Los Angeles Marathon.”

After proving to her dad that she’s fully capable of running around the world, and beating records while she’s at it, the Mexican-American teen is doing it once more — this time with the accompaniment of her younger brother.

Jordan, 9, completed his first marathon in Australia at age 8. He then ran in Egypt, crossed Europe off his list when he did 26.2 miles in London and then took to Thailand. Now, he and his big sis are headed to Antarctica and then South America. He plans to finish off in the US next April.

For Blanca, who has already accomplished the task her brother faces, joining him has been a way to show support and have some fun competition.

“At the end, we try to have a competition of who can cross the finish line first, even though we’re standing next to each other,” she told KTLA 5. “So we can be still next to each other, but I’ll make sure my foot passes it first.”

As for their dad, he’s proud of both of his children meeting their goals — but he’s also looking forward to it for reasons of his own.

“Dad’s very exhausted and I need a break,” he said. “Or they need to pick another sport.”

Read: This Indigenous Woman From Mexico Ran An Ultramarathon In Huaraches Sandals And Won Big

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Latinx Kindergarten Teacher Pens Bilingual Children’s Book To Teach Youth About Gender-Neutral Pronouns

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Latinx Kindergarten Teacher Pens Bilingual Children’s Book To Teach Youth About Gender-Neutral Pronouns

The Spanish language has a gender problem. Nouns ending in an “a” are regarded as feminine and those ending in an “o” are considered masculine. In addition to its limiting duality, the tongue has also been called sexist, particularly because preference is given to male pronouns. Case in point: A crowd of nine women is referred to as “Latinas” until the moment one man joins the group, turning them into “Latinos.” People have increasingly resisted this linguistic male superiority and binary by introducing gender-neutral identifiers like Latin@, Latinx, and Latine. While it’s simple to understand the rationale behind the new terms — making the Spanish language more inclusive to people of differing gender identities — it hasn’t been as easily adopted by Spanish-speakers. To break gender-neutral language down and introduce it to individuals at earlier ages, a California-based elementary school teacher has written a bilingual children’s book on the topic.

They Call Me Mix” (“Me Llaman Maestre”), written by nonbinary kindergarten teacher Lourdes Rivas.

The autobiographical book is about the instructor’s life, starting from being assigned a girl at birth to learning the fluidity of gender as an adult and identifying as nonbinary. In their classroom at the Sylvia Mendez Elementary School in Berkeley, Rivas has long had to answer students’ queries about calling them “maestre” instead of the more common “maestra” or “maestro,” and this picture book aims to answer that question in a way that’s simple and engaging.

“I wrote the book so I can use it in my classroom to explain why I use non-binary pronouns,” Rivas told the Oakland North, adding that they hope it will allow children to challenge gender binaries earlier, before the social constructs are more deeply embedded in their way of thinking, and encourage them to ask people their gender pronouns before assuming them.

While critics might say that school-aged children are too young to be introduced to topics on gender identity, Rivas disagrees.

According to Rivas, the earlier that one can engage in these conversations the better — but approach, and remaining kid-friendly in these discussions, are key. That’s where “They Call Me Mix” comes in.

“I think about my mom and how she had her way of doing things because she didn’t know any better. But now she does because she’s experiencing it with me and she’s trying her best to use the correct pronouns,” Rivas said.

The author, who began writing “They Call Me Mix” in 2016, created a Kickstarter campaign to cover the costs of publishing the book in August 2017, surpassing their goal by raising $12,545. Since then, Rivas has teamed up with local Afro-Latinx illustrator Breena Nuñez, who produced the artwork for the literature.

“They Call Me Mix” is in final technical review at the Ingram Spark Publishing House, where printing is expected to begin on December 26.

Read: Breena Nuñez Peralta Is An Afro-Salvadoran-Guatemalan Artist Making Cartoons About Black Central Americans

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(h/t Remezcla)

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