Guarantee Women’s Economic Equality

Until 1920 most women could not vote in federal and local elections. And until very recently, women’s economic rights — to own a business or even control wealth or property — were severely limited. We have now gone from a society in which women were expected to handle home and family work to one where women are expected to earn money in the workplace — and still take care of home, children, and family.

We should guarantee that women earn the same pay, protections and opportunities as men in the workplace and in society – including strengthened laws for reporting and preventing sexual harassment. Women must also be guaranteed affordable health care and the right to make choices about their own health and reproduction. Families must have access to high-quality child care, and all women must be guaranteed paid leave from the workplace for childbirth, illness and vacation, and a secure retirement — with Social Security credit for work in the household.

  • According to a 2017 Pew survey, About eight-in-ten Americans (82%) support paid leavefor mothers following the birth or adoption of a child, while 69% support paid paternity leave for fathers. And while 85% support paid leave for workers dealing with their own serious health condition, fewer (67%) support paid leave for those caring for a family member who is seriously ill.
  • Roughly six-in-ten Americans (62%) say they have taken or are very likely to take time off from work for family or medical reasons at some point. Among adults who were employed in the past two years, 27% say they have taken parental, family or medical leave during this period. In addition, 16% of those who were employed in the past two years say they needed or wanted to take these types of leave during this period but were unable to do so. (PEW, 2017)
  • A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 54% of American Adults think the government should require all employers to provide up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for full-time employees.
  • 61% of Americans believe the government should take a more active role to ensure equal pay for men and women who are doing the same job. (Civis Analytics, 2016
  • 61% of voters say abortion should be legal in all or most cases, while 36% say it should be illegal in at least most cases. (PEW, 2016)
  • 85% of voters agree that a woman who can make decisions about her own reproductive health care, including whether and when to have children, has more control over her own economic security. (Hart Research, 2018)
  • 76 percent of voters believe politicians should not be allowed to deny a woman’s health coverage for abortion just because she’s poor (including 76 percent of independents, 66 percent of Republicans, and 89 percent of Democrats). (Hart Research. August 25-31, 2016)
  • Nearly seven out of 10 (69 percent) Americans support upholding Roe v. Wade and roughly two-thirds (66 percent) support women having access to reproductive health care in their community. Meanwhile, “8 in 10 (81%) adults in the US agree that they want their representatives to be more vocal in support of these [women’s health] issues.” (Center of Reproductive Rights, 2017)
  • 69% of Americans say sexual harassment is a major problem, and about four in ten women say they’ve been victim of sexual harassment. (Gallup, 2017)
  • Twenty-two percent of employed women in a late summer 2017 Pew Research Center pollsaid they had personally experienced sexual harassment at work. Thirty percent of women told Economist/YouGov online pollsters in October that they had been a victim of sexual harassment at work. And in a November NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist survey of registered voters, 35 percent of women said they had personally experienced sexual harassment or abuse from someone in their workplace. In an October ABC News/Washington Post poll, 30 percent of women said they had experienced unwanted sexual advances from a man who worked at the same company as they did, and 23 percent said they had experienced this from a man who had influence over their work situation.
  • More than two-thirds of parents (69%) say there is a fee for their child care. Child care arrangements among parents surveyed include many different types of care, representing a range of costs, but nearly a third of parents (31%) who have a fee for their child care say the cost has caused a financial problem for their household. Approximately three-quarters of those parents (71%) say it has caused a “very” or “somewhat” serious problem. When asked to rate the cost of their child care, most parents (60%) say is it not “excellent” (NPR poll, 2016)
  • Two out of three parents struggle to find childcare that meets their safety and health standards. (University of Michigan poll, 2017)