Added: Rodell Loftis - Date: 01.03.2022 02:20 - Views: 18300 - Clicks: 2193
The COVID pandemic has made clear the vital role women play in our economy and in the economic security of families, both nationally and in Texas. Now more than ever, lawmakers in Texas must do better to ensure all women and families have quality reproductive health care, safe workplaces, equal representation in government, and economic security. Women need policies that reflect their roles as providers and caregivers—roles that the COVID pandemic has demonstrated are critical to the well-being of families, communities, and the economy.
The following policy recommendations can help support the economic security of women and families in Texas.
Although federal law prohibits unequal pay for equal work, there is more that can be done to ensure that both women and men across Texas enjoy the fullest protections against discrimination. Women constitute a disproportionate share of low-wage workers; raising the minimum wage would help hardworking women across Texas and enable them to better support their families.
Women need access to comprehensive health services—including abortion care, contraceptives, and maternal health care—in order to thrive as breadwinners, caregivers, and employees.
To ensure women are able to access high-quality care, states should, at minimum, implement measures to reduce racial and other disparities in pregnancy-related morbidity and mortality; protect and improve their Medicaid programs; strengthen family planning programs and expand contraceptive access; and end onerous restrictions that reduce access to abortion care and undermine the patient-provider relationship.
At the state level, Texas should ensure that women have access to the full spectrum of quality, affordable, and women-centered reproductive health services. Everyone gets sick, but not everyone is afforded the time to get better. For instance, many women go to work sick, because they fear that they will be fired for missing work.
Allowing employees to earn paid sick days helps keep families, communities, and the economy healthy. Many workers in low-paid jobs—64 percent of whom are women 32 —face erratic work schedules and have little control over when they work and for how long.
Women cannot fully participate in the economy if they face the threat of violence and harassment. There are a of steps lawmakers can take to prevent violence against women and to support survivors, including establishing greater workplace ability; strengthening enforcement; increasing funding for survivor support services; and educating the public on sexual harassment in the workplace.
The growing problem of mass incarceration in the United States hinders the economic potential of those affected and disproportionately harms communities of color. The experience of incarceration is also uniquely traumatic for women in ways that can deter long-term economic security, even after release. Across the United States, women are underrepresented in political office: They constitute 51 percent of the population but only 31 percent of elected officials.
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