Community Advocates and Elected Leaders Call for a Women’s Economic Agenda to Empower Women and Bring Equality to the State’s Workforce
SACRAMENTO – Economic equality, poverty, and child care advocates joined legislators at a press conference this week calling for new policies to help secure women’s economic empowerment in California, which will benefit families and communities across the state. The advocates and elected leaders are asking state policymakers to support an agenda in the coming year that approaches women’s economic opportunities across multiple policy areas. A Stronger California is the multi-year campaign advocating for this coordinated and comprehensive set of policies.
The California Women’s Law Center is a member of the Stronger California Advocates Network, which released a policy paper this week noting that women comprise almost half of the workforce in California and are the primary income-earners in many families. The jobs that many California women hold, however, are mostly part-time and pay minimum wage. Additionally, a lack of affordable child care and housing makes it hard for women to provide secure environments for their families.
The Stronger Calif♀rnia Agenda includes efforts to:
- Reduce poverty and build assets: The agenda includes legislative proposals to address women’s poverty and improve policies that hold women back from building self-sufficient households for their families.
- Expand access to child care and education: Quality, affordable child care is the lynchpin to advancing women’s economic security because it allows women to obtain a higher education, find and keep gainful employment, and attain higher positions in the workplace. The agenda includes legislation to greatly expand access to child care for low-income families and signal important reinvestments in California’s early childhood education system.
- Ensure fair pay and job opportunities: California’s gender wage gap contributes to high rates of poverty and adversely affects women in nearly every field, regardless of their income or educational status. The agenda includes bills to improve pay equity and raise the minimum wage.
- Develop skills for a modern workplace: Creating pathways to living wage jobs for low-income women involves developing partnerships across systems and encouraging and supporting women to enter non-traditional employment. The Stronger California Agenda supports SB 342 (Jackson), the Earn and Learn bill, which prioritizes funding for on-site, compensated job training to help women enter non-traditional occupations.
- Support working families: Work schedules in California must be reasonable and provided with enough advance notice to ensure parents can find appropriate child care. The Stronger California Agenda addresses these issues by supporting legislation to expand access to the California Family Rights Act and ensure fair and predictable work schedules for many of California’s hourly workers.
For more information about A Stronger California and the key legislation being proposed by A Stronger California in 2015, please visit: StrongerCalifornia.org
About the California Women’s Law Center
Since its founding in 1989, the California Women’s Law Center (CWLC) has worked to eliminate the barriers that keep women and girls in poverty. CWLC breaks down barriers and advances the potential of women and girls through transformative litigation, policy advocacy and education. CWLC is a leader in Title IX education and enforcement in California at the high school level and advocate for the unique needs of women veterans. For more information, visit cwlc.org.
Download the press release here.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 24, 2015