I am proud to stand with women today who are fighting for their rights, including my wife and daughters. Pictured on the right is my wife, Dianna and I, at the Women’s March in January 2017. I am supporting the rights of women now and this will continue vigorously when I serve in Congress. Women’s rights are human rights. As with other issues, I believe when we account for the needs of the individuals in our society, we are all better off. Everyone deserves a chance to enjoy the promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
In the case of women’s rights, this includes:
Raising the Minimum Wage and Pay Equity
While the difference in pay for men and women has lessened over the years, the gap is still appallingly large. The pay gap between men and women of color is even more striking. This issue is one where we absolutely cannot afford to perpetuate the status quo. This inequality is a drain on our society that prevents us from reaching our full potential.
Raising the minimum wage is a great place to begin to remedy these inequalities. Almost two-thirds of minimum wage jobs in the US are occupied by women, and the minimum wage is not high enough to maintain a reasonable standard of living. Read more about my thoughts on raising the minimum wage on my page, Good Jobs.
It is also important to understand the role Social Security plays in the quality of life for women. To read more about my plan to keep Social Security fair, strong and fully funded go to my page on Social Security where I discuss possible solutions in full.
Paid Family Leave and Vacation Time
The US is the only modern developed nation that does not guarantee paid family leave, and the only developed nation not to do so for both parents. This is not a reflection of how our families, the most essential unit of society, should be treated. Every parent, regardless of their situation, should be given the chance to be with their young children without the fear of losing their job or facing other financial setbacks. Every child deserves to have parents present when needed. I support Representative DeLauro and Senator Gillibrand’s FAMILY Act, which would guarantee at least 12 weeks of paid leave for parents and medical leave for themselves or a family member. Not guaranteeing sick leave is a huge potential risk to our society, not to mention a horrible injustice to workers. I also support measures Senator Sanders has proposed to give workers vacation time to rest, be with their families and take a break from the hectic work life. This is vital for improving our workforce’s productivity and happiness.
Women should have access to the healthcare that they need at a rate which is reasonable. Choices about reproduction should be left up to each individual woman and their doctor. Along with fighting for Medicare for All, keeping services like Planned Parenthood open and supported is vital to maintaining women’s health. Parenthood’s yearly report from 2015-16 shows just how many life saving services they do provide across our nation, often to some of our most vulnerable people. I believe abortion should be safe, legal, and rare. Effective and widespread family planning will benefit everyone and continue to reduce the number of abortions. I will fight to have Planned Parenthood fully funded.