How to advance gender equity

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Text Summit Staff

Summit asked two female leaders about what should be done to advance gender equity.

Mazie Hirono, U.S. Senator

Paycheck fairness: During these challenging economic times, women deserve equal pay for equal work more than ever. Congress must pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.

Job security: We recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of President Clinton’s signing of the Family and Medical Leave Act. Although FMLA was a good start, expanded earned paid medical and family leave would help many American women have greater job security.

Affordable childcare and education: Too often, women simply can’t afford to send their children to daycare or college. Congress should pass legislation to open new doors of opportunity by making those costs manageable.

Mari Matsuda, Professor, UH Manoa

Violence/misogyny: Hatred of women and attacks on their bodies are, unfortunately, going strong globally, in spite of decades of feminist push back. Women still have to worry about rape on this campus, where I was long ago a student and am now a professor.

Economic equality: Women are disproportionately poor, and even privileged women make less than their male counterpart. Issues that affect working families affect women, since we have a disproportionate share of the load of keeping families going: childcare, eldercare, health care, housing, attacks on labor, disappearing pensions. All economic justice issues are women’s issues.

Reproductive freedom: Women should be able to choose when to have children, and receive support for healthy births and the raising of healthy children if and when we choose to parent.

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