The Center for American Progress recently released The State of Women in America, a state-by-state evaluation of how women are faring in health care, economics and leadership. According to the report, Pennsylvania women still have a long way to go. And policy is crucial to giving women the tools they need to succeed.
The report gives Pennsylvania a C- and ranks it 28th in the nation for the well-being of women. The Commonwealth earned a D+ for women’s economic security with the report finding that women earn only $.76 for every dollar a man earns; 15 percent of Pennsylvania women live in poverty; and, Pennsylvania does not provide for paid family, medical or temporary disability leave.
Women’s health is essential to their families yet 11 percent of non-elderly women are uninsured; there is only one OB/GYN for every 19,656 women; and, Pennsylvania puts up restrictive barriers to accessing reproductive health care.
When women thrive, their families, communities and the economy thrive. I will implement an aggressive agenda for women’s success. Here are some elements:
- Affirm women's right to reproductive choice;
- Enact single-payer universal healthcare;
- Increase minimum wage;
- Strengthen protections for victims of sexual and domestic violence;
- Increase funding for Child Care Works to eliminate the waiting list;
- Expand Medicaid;
- Increase penalities for human trafficking;
- Strengthen child abuse laws;
- Allow for termination of parental rights when a child or other parent was a victim of the perpetrating parent who is convicted of serious crimes;
- Increased funding for child advocacy, domestic violence and rape crisis centers funded from $5 fee assessed on defendants in domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse cases;
- Allow victims of domestic violence to petition for temporary Protection From Abuse orders remotely;
- End LGBT discrimination;
- Allow same-sex marriage; and,
- Reinvigorate the PA Commission for Women and charge it with promoting economic opportunity for women.