Since the Equal Pay Act of 1963, equal pay for equal work without gender discrimination has been the law of the land. In practice, however, there is still work to be done. Nationally, women earn 80 cents for every dollar earned by men, and the wage gap is even higher for women of color. In New York State, where pay is relatively more equal for women (New York women earn 89.1 percent of what men do), 14.8 percent of women in the state remain in poverty. In Congress, I will support legislation to force corporations to disclose information about pay equity and, if necessary, to implement programs to address pay equity issues.
We should also work to ensure not just that everyone is paid at a rate commensurate to their work, but that everyone is treated with respect and dignity, regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Sexual harassment is wrong, and we should do all we can to prevent it, including supporting initiatives that will enable more women and other gender minorities to hold leadership positions, which will be critical in changing the culture of sexual harassment in workplaces. I support legislation aimed at helping those who have suffered sexual harassment or sexual assault at their workplaces, and I will also be an advocate for the Fair Employment Protection Act, which should be advanced in Congress.
Outside the workplace, I will support the right of women to make decisions about their healthcare and family planning in consultation with their doctors. Access to reproductive care, like other health care, should be safe and legal, no matter where a woman lives or how much money she makes.