Today, as Women’s Equality Day is recognized, Representative Dave Loebsack reiterated his call to pass a package of legislation to increase women’s economic security and protect women’s rights. Loebsack has been a leader in Congress on promoting issues that would expand economic opportunities for women.
“American women have made great strides since the Seneca Falls Convention 165 years ago, but the fight for equal rights is far from over. As we recognize Women’s Equality Day, we also recognize that there is more work to do to provide women with the economic security and opportunities they deserve and their families need. As a husband and father of two daughters, I am committed to ensuring equal pay for equal work, promoting work and family balance, and providing access to quality, affordable health and child care,” said Representative Loebsack.
A list of Loebsack’s initiatives to advance women’s economic security and rights, include:
Addressing Gender Discrimination in Pay
Despite the passage of the Equal Pay Act over 50 years ago, full-time working women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. This amounts to a yearly pay gap of $11,084, money that could purchase 89 weeks of food, 3,000 gallons of gas, or an entire year’s rent. It is far past time to recognize the important role women play in our economy and end this inequality. Dave strongly supports the Paycheck Fairness Act, which will close loopholes in the Equal Pay Act and increase penalties for employers who discriminate based on gender.
Increasing the Minimum Wage
Women make up nearly two-thirds of minimum-wage workers in this country. As the son of a single mother, Dave knows that many families are now supported by women as the sole breadwinner. That is why it is so critical for women that we raise the minimum wage.
Dave strongly supports increasing the minimum wage, and is a cosponsor of the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which would increase the federal minimum wage to $10.10 per hour. Dave will continue to push for this increase so that hard-working women can support and maintain a basic standard of living for themselves and their families.
Promoting a Work and Family Balance
Today, America’s mothers and wives are the breadwinners or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of households, yet they still do not have access to paid time off to take care of a sick child or family member. Our families and our needs have changed, but the workplace has not. Congress must work to provide moms with paid family and medical leave as well as paid sick days.
Working mothers also need access to quality, affordable child care. That is why Dave supports the Working Families Child Care Act, which would increase funding for infant and toddler care.
Protecting Women’s Right to Make Their Own Health Care Decisions
Women have a fundamental right to make their own, private decisions about their health. These decisions are not the business of corporations or Washington politicians. That is why Dave has worked to ensure women receive fair health care coverage at a fair price and have opposed efforts to limit women’s access to care and services. He is also committed to increasing support for family planning and adoption services so that women and their families can plan when and if to become pregnant.
Preventing Violence Against Women
When one in three women are the victim of intimate partner violence, dating violence, or sexual assault or stalking during their lifetime, we must continue to work together to put the safety of women above politics. That is why Dave is a strong supporter of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which supports prevention efforts and improves services for victims of these crimes. He was proud to support the bipartisan reauthorization of VAWA that was signed into law on March 7, 2013. Dave has visited many domestic violence shelters in the Second District and knows that these programs can save lives, so he is also pushing for strong funding for programs serving victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking.