WELCOME to the Equal Pay edition of NOW New Jersey’s monthly FEMINIST FRIDAY Newsletter wrapping up Women’s History Month in March! Happy Holi, Passover, Ramadan and Easter to all who celebrate!

The feminist conversation around EQUAL PAY has taken on an intersectional lens in recent years, as rarely do you see a post or news article on Equal Pay Day that does not mention the further disparities that exist by race and ethnicity. However, even the most well-intentioned meme misses the point when talking about data regarding AAPI women. It’s why we like this image that acknowledges that the AAPI data may be skewed by subgroups and we need to disaggregate the data to tell the full story. Taiwanese Americans and Indian Americans are among the top earners, whereas other groups like Cambodian and Burmese Americans lag behind Black and Latinx workers respectively.

The shooting incidents in Atlanta have cast the spotlight on hate crimes and bias incidents targeting Asian Americans. Although speculation continues on whether the shooter was motivated by racism or misogyny, as intersectional NOW feminists, we recognize that it was likely both. Asian Americans have long felt invisible – perpetual foreigners whose concerns have been brushed aside with an expectation for them to assimilate as the ‘model minority.’ NOW-NJ President Anjali Mehrotra and Oregon NOW President Christine Chin Ryan brought awareness to these issues in a blog post last May. This led to the first ever AAPI Caucus meeting at the 2020 National NOW Conference. Last week National NOW held a webinar on the topic and there are multiple vigils and rallies this week in New Jersey. Look for one near you or attend this one in Fort Lee organized by more than 30 Asian American groups.


BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD — In January, we highlighted how women’s voices have been silenced in NJ politics for so long. Now it seems the legislature has been forced to start listening. Tiffany Kaszuba who has been outspoken on the harassment she faced as a congressional candidate in 2019 testified against the watered down bill that she helped to draft initially.

ANSWERS AND ACCOUNTABILITYFour additional senior Correctional Police officers have been charged with aggravated assault and official misconduct over the attacks at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility in January. This brings the total number of officers charged up to eight and includes the first woman charged in relation to the case. In January, NOW-NJ called for justice for the inmates of Edna Mahan Correctional Facility and this represents the first step towards transformational change. To show solidarity with the inmates, join the New Jersey Prison Justice Watch on Saturday March 27 at 12PM at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility and be sure to wear red!

ABOLISHING THE “PINK” TAX — Did you know that women pay more than men for similar goods and services 42% of the time? A quick scan of razor or dry cleaning prices will show a distinguishable difference in how much women pay compared to men. To eliminate this form of price discrimination, the NJ Senate Commerce Committee unanimously approved S2039, penalizing businesses for gendered pricing. NOW-NJ President, Anjali Mehrotra, testified before the committee earlier this month, stating “The upcharges on items such as shaving gel, deodorant, these are things that are purchased frequently, and that means the cost of buying these adds up pretty quickly. It’s really an equity question because it becomes exceptionally burdensome for women and girls from lower-income households.”


Sexual Assault Awareness Month #SAAM — Join the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) in their #30DaysofSAAM Challenge by posting to Instagram throughout the month and be sure to wear teal to show solidarity on April 6 for their Day of Action. Check out this list of events NSVRC is holding throughout the month to get more involved.

RAINN, the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization, also has programming throughout the month of April. April 28 is Wear Denim Day— an annual, national day of awareness that encourages participants to wear denim as a symbol of believing survivors and asserting that consent has nothing to do with your clothing. Follow RAINN to get updates and post your own #DenimDay photo in solidarity.

Are we in the CONSTITUTION yet? — On March 17, House Resolution 17 passed to suspend the deadline on ERA ratification. Now we need the Senate to act.

We know that the ERA certification was recommended to the Biden administration for inclusion in their 100 day plan. Join Somerset County Federation of Democratic Women, Alice Paul Institute  and NOW-NJ President Anjali Mehrotra for why NOW is the perfect time to seal the deal on the ERA passed. The event is tentatively scheduled for Wednesday, April 7 at 7 PM. Check out our social media for details next week.

Pictured above: Masks made by ERA activist Zoe Nicholson and supplied to members of Congress by NOW’s 28th Amendment ERA Committee.

The Notorious TAUB — The Women’s Rights Law Reporter (WRLR) at Rutgers Law School is dedicating their 2021 symposium to the late Professor Nadine Taub who passed away this past summer. Professor Taub broke boundaries and pioneered work in a number of key areas of women’s rights law, including sexual harassment, reproductive rights, access to public accommodations and benefits, and family law. She worked with NOW-NJ as counsel in Collins v. Union County Jail. The virtual event, to be held on Friday, April 9 at 10 AM will include NOW-NJ President Anjali Mehrotra as a panelist. Anjali will speak on the Reproductive Freedom Act and how the bill seeks to address equity issues raised in a Reproductive Justice framework.

What’s your feminist agenda? — NOW National has announced their 2021 conference dates! The 2021 Conference, themed Springing Hope into Action: Amplifying NOW’s Intersectional Feminist Agenda will be held virtually on Saturday, July 24 and Sunday, July 25; Saturday, July 31 and Sunday, August 1; and on Saturday, August 7 and Sunday, August 8. The conference has an open call for workshops prioritizing an intersectional feminist agenda. Workshop proposals are now open until April 15 so get yours in soon!


New Jersey’s PWFA gets a test run — The state Supreme Court rules that the Ocean Township Police Department discriminated against a pregnant police officer who was forced to cut short her light-duty assignment and use up her paid leave time prior to giving birth. The high court’s decision provides a roadmap to bring claims under the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which prohibits employers from treating pregnant and breastfeeding employees less favorably than other employees and requires them to provide reasonable accommodations to pregnant and breastfeeding workers.

Following in RGB’s Footsteps — When Governor Murphy’s nomination of Rachel Wainer Apter, a former clerk of Justice Ginsburg to the New Jersey Supreme Court met instant criticism from his Republican opponent, we felt compelled to call out the hypocrisy and misogyny in his remarks. The use of the  sexist label of “inexperienced” was reminiscent of attacks long used as excuses to disqualify women.

EXTRA, EXTRA, Exciting News — 2021 is an election year in New Jersey but it is likely that only the party insiders know or care yet. Lines are being awarded, and petition signatures are being gathered as candidates seek every advantage they can get into their toolbox. We are thrilled to announce that, NOW New Jersey President Anjali Mehrotra has secured the Democratic line for her Assembly candidacy in the 21st district. Follow her campaign on social media and her website.


The U.S. Dropped from 48th to 67th in Women’s Representation. How? — Ms. Magazine

Why Black Women Are Rejecting Hospitals in Search of Better Births — New York Times

The Pandemic Has Given Women a New Kind of Rage — The Atlantic

Measuring Success: Women in 2020 Legislative Elections — Center for American Women and Politics

Mitch McConnell is wrong. Here’s the filibuster’s ‘racial history.’ — Washington Post


The Brown Girls Guide to Politics is the one stop shop for women of color who want to hear and talk about the world of politics. Host A’shanti Gholar, President of Emerge, leads conversations with women changing the face of politics. Episodes include interviews with politicians, candidates, and influencers. From addressing the Black maternal health crisis to discussing police reform in the context of Breonna Taylor’s murder to highlighting the ACLU’s work on immigration, the podcast covers a range of topics from an intersectional lens. Get ready for roundtables, analyzing current events, and more!


Isha Mehrotra, Communications Vice President

What made you join NOW? I first began working on women’s issues in tech during college. As a Computer Science major, I experienced firsthand the effects of the gender gap and worked towards remedying it by leading both campus-wide and community initiatives. After moving back to New Jersey, I learned more about the unique issues facing our state and wanted to make an impact beyond the tech sector. NOW is doing great work to get women’s voices heard at the table. We still have a long way to go, but NOW continues to lead the fight to achieve gender equity once and for all.

What feminist issue would you like to see addressed that is not getting enough attention? With Equal Pay Day this past week, we have had a national spotlight on the gender pay gap in particular. However, it is not enough to only discuss the issue for a single day. It is great to see New Jersey is a leader in this respect but the next step is nation-wide adoption of stronger equal pay policies AND stringent implementation of such regulations. It is truly appalling that in 2021 we still see specific intersection of women making only 82 cents on every dollar a white man makes. With the pandemic, we have seen this gap further exacerbated as all jobs lost in 2020 can be accounted for by women. Women are being hit on all sides, bearing the brunt of childcare responsibilities and losing their jobs. Pay disparities, if allowed to persist, will continue to exacerbate such inequalities even more.

What’s your new quarantine hobby? I have become a big fan of the New York Times Cookbook recipes so I’m steadily making my way through them with my family. Prior to quarantine, I rarely cooked since I did not have much time with commuting and even more so because I did not have the luxury of a fully equipped kitchen. Now that I am back home, I have found that I really enjoy cooking and trying out new recipes! We have also had the chance to perfect our chocolate chip cookie recipe and make other desserts – I am looking forward to my next project of making chocolate lava cake!

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New Jersey NOW
Our purpose is to act through intersectional, anti-racist grassroots activism to promote
feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect
the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life.

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