BY CONGRESSMAN ED CASE, D-HI (2002-2007) – On Saturday, in communities across our country, women and men are joining together in a national Protest Against the War on Women. This is part of a movement to protect the advances of the last generations in assuring the rights of women and to continue toward our goal of true equality. For your Senator, that means providing strong leadership in DC committed passionately to achieving full equality and able to work effectively with all others over the next generation to achieve it.
Ten Principles. In doing just that, I will be guided by these ten principles:
(1) Full gender equality, meaning equal rights and equal opportunity regardless of sex, is a basic human, constitutional and civil right.
(2) Gender inequality negatively affects not just women but all of us regardless of gender, age, origin, ethnicity or any other classification.
(3) As far as we have come toward gender equality in the past generations, great inequality remains and must be attacked with the same passion and commitment over the next generation.
(4) The momentum toward full equality cannot be taken for granted, especially given concerted efforts across our country to halt any further progress and reverse gains to date.
(5) Except for compelling government interests, all Americans have the right to make decisions about their own bodies according to our own beliefs and without interference from government, business, religious or other institutions.
(6) True equality for women cannot be achieved without the opportunity for and assurance of educational and economic parity.
(7) Our social safety net must be preserved especially for whole classes of women including single mothers and elderly widows.
(8) Gender equality must be pursued together with other longstanding civil rights efforts such as racial equality to address the compounding effects of discrimination on, for example, minority women.
(9) Our country must lead our world in achieving international gender equity and that goal must be fully incorporated into our foreign policy.
(10) A Senator matters, in serving as a strong effective advocate for all of our civil rights and in persevering over time to full equality.
Ten Specifics. As examples, my agenda on advancing women’s rights will include these ten specifics:
- Constitutional equality. I will continue to support an amendment to our Constitution guaranteeing that the equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by our federal or state governments on account of gender.
- International equality. I will continue to support the ratification by our country of the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.
- Pay equality. I will support legislation to strengthen the Equal Pay Act to ensure that women receive equal pay for equal work.
- Educational equality. I will continue to advocate for equal educational opportunities for women and will oppose efforts to weaken or strike down landmark legislation such as Title IX.
- Choice. I will continue to oppose efforts to limit a woman’s constitutional right to continue or terminate a pregnancy prior to fetal viability.
- Contraception. I will continue to oppose efforts to limit a woman’s ability to obtain accurate medical information and safe contraception.
- Women business preferences. I will continue to support federal contract preferences for women-owned businesses.
- Violence against women. I will preserve and strengthen key legislation targeting domestic violence such as the Violence Against Women Act.
- Safety net. I will protect the interests of disadvantaged women in needed revisions to sustain Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other key social safety net programs.
- Lead by example. I will continue to lead by example, with equal opportunity and equal pay in my United States Senate staff.
With strong effective leadership in the United States Senate on these and many other initiatives, we can and will overcome reactionary efforts to reverse the hard-earned gains of the last generation and achieve our goal of full gender equality.
|Congressional record rated at or close to 100% by major women’s organizations such as the National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood, NARAL and the American Association of University Women|