Advancing Women’s Rights
America has come a long way in the struggle for equal rights … but we are still far short of realizing the promise of our ideals. For every dollar a New Jersey man earns, on average, a woman earns only 79 cents for equal work. That reflects some improvement from the 59 cents women in the United States made 50 years ago, but the wage gap today is even more problematic because the number of female breadwinners has quadrupled. To add to this injustice, nationally, African American and Latina women earn only 64 cents and 55 cents, respectively, for every dollar their male counterparts earn.
Women have expanded reproductive rights, but these rights remain under attack with two states passing laws in the past few months that severely limit women’s right to choose.
We have expanded access to women’s health care, but right here in New Jersey, Governor Christie slashed funding for Planned Parenthood.
Our work will not be done until we live in a nation where equal work means equal pay, where a woman and her doctor make her health care decisions, and where access to quality preventative care is the priority it should be. And that’s why, as your Senator, I will:
- Work to make the long overdue promises advanced by the 2009 enactment of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act a reality by supporting further efforts to close the income gap between men and women, including the Paycheck Fairness Act and raising the federal minimum wage;
- Protect a woman’s right to choose, as well as her access to birth control; a woman’s health decisions must remain between her and her doctor;
- Fight to safeguard the Affordable Care Act, and its provisions that invest in prenatal and preventative care;
- Vigorously pursue improvements in global women’s rights and health;
- Make preventing violence against women in any form, place, or institution a priority, including supporting efforts to address the ongoing crisis in our armed forces;
- Support the expansion of the Family and Medical Leave Act to give working families more flexibility;
- Make sure that the government contract procurement process promotes women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurs, as well as fair pay.
I will follow the lead of the many courageous women who have helped achieve the progress we have made, and will do all I can to support their efforts to build a country in which gender does not impact how much you bring home in your paycheck, to what extent you control decisions about your health, or how far you’re likely to go in your career.