Thanks to the commitment of generous supporters like you, CWLC made significant strides toward justice and equality in 2016. We continue to break down barriers and advance the potential of women and girls through transformative litigation, policy advocacy, and education.
Over the course of the year, CWLC worked to ensure Title IX is enforced in school athletics programs throughout the state. We fought discrimination against women veterans by working to ensure they receive the support they deserve. In 2016, we successfully advocated for women’s economic security and we co-sponsored legislation that eliminated the statute of limitations on rape and sexual assault in California. We sustained our pursuit to end discrimination and eradicate violence toward women of all identities and we continued our fight for reproductive health, rights, and justice by ensuring women have access to the healthcare opportunities they need to be able to lead healthy and productive lives.
Although recent events have foreshadowed the possibility of added challenges to our ability to achieve justice for women and girls in California, we are proud to share highlights from this year outlining our commitment to securing fairness, justice and opportunity for women and girls across the state. With your help in what could be one of the most challenging times we have experienced, the California Women’s Law Center will maintain our march toward equality and justice in 2017 and we will continue to be champions for the most vulnerable and under-represented people in California.
Women’s Health – Standing Up for Reproductive Health, Rights, and Justice
At our 2016 Pursuit of Justice Awards luncheon, we were honored to recognize the Downtown Women’s Center, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Planned Parenthood Los Angeles for their commitment to ensuring accessible and reliable healthcare for women and families. CWLC was delighted to be able to recognize these impactful organizations who are working to ensure the lives of others are safer, healthier and more equitable.
Economic Security – Aging Women
In June, CWLC co-hosted the Aging, Women and Poverty in California forum at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles. CWLC was honored to partner with the California Commission on Aging and the California Commission on the Status of Women and Girls to discuss planning priorities and perspectives pertaining to our aging population. With 34,000 Californians turning 65 each month, this state must prepare for a dramatic change in the needs of our citizens. CWLC remains committed to fighting for women’s rights and elder justice. Together, we will continue to act on these matters and hopefully brighten the Golden Years of our aging citizens.
Gender Discrimination: Fighting for Equality in Schools
CWLC proudly maintains its role as an expert in Title IX enforcement throughout California high schools, colleges and universities. We continue to deliver trainings on campus sexual assault and other Title IX issues to students, educators and attorneys in California.
We also remain on the forefront of the fight to end discrimination against pregnant and parenting students and school employees in California. In conjunction with BreastfeedLA, the ACLU of Southern California and First 5 California, CWLC released an updated report card on lactation accommodations in the Los Angeles Unified School District for students and employees. Although there was marked improvement from last year, the 2016 report card revealed many school districts in Los Angeles County are still failing to provide adequate accommodations to lactating students and employees. In 2017, we will continue to be advocates for pregnant and lactating students and employees, thereby enhancing their chances for success at school.
Serving Our Women Veterans: Accessing Benefits, Services, and Fair Housing
Assisting those who have served our country remains a priority for CWLC, particularly because the number of women in the military has doubled in the last decade. Women veterans continue to face unique obstacles in accessing public benefits, housing, and healthcare.
This year, CWLC represented a veteran who sued the owners and managers of a housing facility developed for disabled homeless veterans alleging that they had violated the federal Fair Housing Act because they had failed to reasonably accommodate her disability of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) resulting from military sexual trauma (MST). Denying the defendants’ motion for summary judgment,the court issued an order holding that gender-proximate housing for women veterans suffering from PTSD resulting from MST can in appropriate circumstances be a reasonable accommodation under the Fair Housing Act. The case also led to CWLC’s work with a California state senator to introduce a bill to ensure that new state funding for veteran housing includes housing for underserved female veterans.
During this holiday season, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to achieve justice and equality for California’s women and girls by clicking here.Our work will not be complete until our mothers, sisters, and daughters are afforded equal opportunity everywhere.
Thank you again for supporting the California Women’s Law Center. In 2017, we hope you will continue to assist our effort to break down barriers and advance the potential of women and girls through transformative litigation, policy advocacy and education. We have much work to do and your support is more important than ever. By working together, our pursuit of justice for women and girls will be realized much faster and on a much broader scale.
Happy Holidays to you and yours from the California Women’s Law Center staff and Board of Directors.
In peace and with respect for all, we wish you a happy and healthy 2017!