Legislative Women's Caucus
Policy Goals and Priorities
WOMEN'S ECONOMIC SECURITY
A STRONGER CALIFORNIA: Securing Economic Opportunity for All Women
Working with advocates, the Legislative Women’s Caucus is supporting/driving a policy agenda this session that lifts women and children out of poverty, ensures fair pay and family-friendly workplaces, and expands quality childcare access.
Included in this agenda will be proposals to preserve and increase basic needs supports for women and families, closing the gender wage gap by strengthening California’s pay laws, increasing income for working women and their families, expanding access to high quality, affordable childcare, and encouraging women to enter and advance in non-traditional, high-wage jobs. All of these proposals will lead to increased financial security for women as they raise their families and into retirement age.
SEXUAL ASSAULT AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PREVENTION
In addition to commemorating Denim Day and April and October as Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence Awareness Months, respectively, and coming off of two substantial policy changes from 2014, affirmative consent on college campuses and timely sexual forensic evidence kit testing, the Legislative Women's Caucus is poised to continue our vigilant efforts to ensure the safety of all women.
ENSURING THE FAIR TREATMENT OF WOMEN IN PRISON
From eliminating shackled childbirth to prohibiting coerced sterilization, the Legislative Women's Caucus has always maintained a commitment to ensuring the fair treatment of women inmates. The Central California Women's Correctional Facility in Chowchilla is currently the single most overcrowded prison in California. The Legislative Women's Caucus is committed to ease the crowding; ensuring appropriate and helpful reentry services are available to inmates; and making sure women who suffered from battering and its affects are serving fair sentences.
We continue to be in an era of changing attitudes about health care. Covered California is helping uninsured citizens become insured. Recent legislation safeguards contraception choice but the Caucus needs to be vigilant about its enforcement and other policy implementations. Since the dissolution of the Office of Women's Health, and its subsequent "merge" into the Office of Health Equity, it's even more important that the Caucus, the Commission on the Status of Women and Girls, and other advocacy groups continue to prioritize women's (and especially women of color's) health.
Breast health and heart health has consistently been a priority of the Legislative Women's Caucus and will continue to be as we proceed through the 2014-15 session.
WOMEN IN THE MILITARY AND MILITARY FAMILIES
Women in the military and military families continue to be a priority area for the Legislative Women's Caucus. We continue to work with the California National Guard (CNG) and the newly appointed Adjutant General David Baldwin to address the needs of military service women and their families. Through our coordinated efforts, we are assisting the CNG in developing a survey that will go out to all National Guard service members before the end of 2011 that will include topics pertaining to mental health (both of service member and family) and child care.
WOMEN IN CORPORATE LEADERSHIP
Inspired by both the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners and the LWC sponsored visit by Facebook CEO Sheryl Sandberg and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns, the LWC has been actively encouraging gender equity on corporate boards. Efforts around Senate Joint Resolution 62 have yielded collaborative work with UC Davis and other California organizations with the same goal.
WOMEN IN THE MEDIA
Media's inequities on and off-screen have fed a cultural backlash against women's advancement and contributed to the increasing violence against women and girls. We are working with various entities, including the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in media and Miss Representation (a documentary by Jennifer Siebel Newsom that has inspired a movement), to find ways California can lead the nation on educational policy and socially responsible business practices that will curb mainstream media's damaging effects on our culture.
WOMEN IN POLITICS
The Legislative Women’s Caucus works with several bipartisan organizations to determine why women run and do not run for office. Studies have shown that the more women who serve in legislatures the stronger family-friendly policies are enacted.