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Women’s Equality Agenda

May 15, 2013

I’ve been talking a LOT lately about the Women’s Equality Agenda, Governor Cuomo’s 10 point plan for advancing women’s rights in New York State.  The plan includes strengthening sex trafficking laws, improving and protecting work environments for women, increasing pay equity, protecting reproductive health, and ending discrimination against domestic violence abuse victims.  These changes are both simple – in the way they update existing laws – and long overdue.  In the words of the Governor himself,

With all our sophistication, with all our education, with all our wealth, in the greatest city and the greatest state on the planet, we still discriminate against women. It is intolerable.

And I agree, Governor, it is absolutely intolerable.

What’s truly unique about this plan is seeing the idea of the intersectionality of oppression being put into practice.  So often in politics and the media we see coverage of pay equity, or coverage of sexism in the workplace, or coverage of abortion, or coverage of domestic violence – like each one is its own separate issue, unrelated to anything else.  Governor Cuomo’s package shows his understanding that “women’s issues” around pay, violence, housing and reproductive rights are all interconnected.  No one issue can be resolved without looking at the big picture.  He’s using his power as Governor to connect & break down the legal barriers that hold women back – to truly empower women – and that is unusual.

So, what is being done to make sure that this 10 point plan is put into action?  The New York Women’s Equality Coalition is an organization of more than 820 groups that support Governor Cuomo’s plan.  We’ve been talking to press and to legislators and to community groups to make people aware of this plan and the facts about women’s lives that drive each provision.

Have you done your part yet?  Pick up the phone and call your NYS Senator – check out the Senate website to find contact info (or just look up who represents you).  Use social networking, like Facebook and Twitter to raise awareness (if you tweet, use #NY4Women). Send a letter expressing your support to your legislator or to your local paper.  Don’t forget: Legislators are elected to represent you and your needs.  Most importantly: Join us in Albany on June 4!  

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