Washington, D.C. – Today, Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), Congresswoman Doris Matsui (D-CA), Congresswoman Donna Edwards (D-MD), and House Democratic women were joined by a coalition of American women, and women’s advocacy groups to announce: When Women Succeed, America Succeeds: An Economic Agenda for Women and Families. The agenda focuses on policies that address real economic needs facing women and families: ensuring equal pay for equal work, promoting work and family balance, and providing access to quality, affordable child care.
“This agenda is about the future of America’s families and the growth of America’s economy,” said Leader Pelosi. “When women earn equal pay, we know America’s economy will prosper. When women can have fairness and balance between work and family, we know American society will thrive. It is about unleashing the power of our nation’s women and, in doing so, strengthening the middle class – the backbone of our democracy. And when all women succeed, we know America succeeds.”
Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) added, “Women are really struggling financially. They are looking for an increase in the minimum wage and equal pay, so they can raise their income, support their families and have a chance for a better life. So today, 165 years after the Women’s Rights Convention at Seneca Falls, we are launching a woman’s economic agenda to address these severe financial pressures. Raising wages for millions of struggling women is central to ensuring work pays for them and their families. Closing the wage gap, increasing the minimum wage, expanding educational opportunities and supporting women entrepreneurs are crucial to making sure that women—and America—succeed.”
“Women workers are the cornerstone of our economy and when they succeed, all of America moves forward,” Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez (NY-7) said. “By promoting female entrepreneurship, fighting for fair pay and protecting women workers’ rights, we can strengthen our overall economy.”
“We know women today are concerned about securing a work-life balance that allows them to meet their career and family responsibilities, and that includes having paid sick leave,” said Congresswoman Donna Edwards (MD-4). “The United States remains the only developed nation that does not offer paid family and medical leave – an injustice that must be addressed. As leaders in this Congress, we are engaging women where they are to build our foundation by extending the Family and Medical Leave Act and continuing to lay pathways to economic security for all women.”
“It is time we elevate the economic issues facing women here in America, which is why I am joining my female democratic colleagues in the House in launching an economic agenda for women and families,” said Congresswoman Doris Matsui (CA-6). “One critical element of this agenda is ensuring women have access to affordable, reliable childcare, so that no mother has to make the choice between a much needed paycheck and ensuring a safe environment for her child. Affordable, reliable childcare will boost the economy by allowing working moms to participate more fully in the workplace. And when women succeed, our nation as a whole succeeds.”
Democrats announce their women and families economic agenda as we prepare to mark the 165th anniversary of the Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, the first women’s rights convention that addressed the status of women in social, economic, and political life. The agenda stands on the shoulders of what was accomplished at Seneca Falls, and what was advanced by activists in every generation, by addressing the economic challenges facing women and families in our time.
Specifically, the When Women Succeed, America Succeeds agenda provides solutions to many of the pocketbook pressures women face at all ages and every stage of their life. It addresses the need to improve pay, provide flexibility for working women, and provide quality, affordable, accessible child care.
Today more than ever before, American women and their families are facing economic hardships. Almost half of all workers are women, and 40 percent of working women are the primary breadwinners in their families. Unfortunately, women make only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes; the poverty rate – 16.3 percent for women – is the highest in 17 years; and Women account for two-thirds of minimum wage workers. The success of our nation relies upon the economic security of women and families.
Click here to read more about the policies promoted in the Democrats’ agenda to help women and families achieve economic prosperity.