Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Twelve ways to make women's lives better

Walmart and other employers aren't treating women well.
On the eve of America's greatest non-denominational holiday, it's a good time to remember there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to make the U.S. live up to the high ideals of its founding fathers. And it begins with improving conditions so the majority gender is on equal footing with males in this country.
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) released a Women's Economic Agenda last week that details 12 measures policymakers can take to improve their lives. They are:

  • Raise the minimum wage;
  • Eliminate the tipped minimum wage;
  • Strengthen collective bargaining rights;
  • Strengthen laws against discrimination in hiring, pay and promotion;
  • Provide paid family leave;
  • Provide paid sick leave;
  • Require fair scheduling practices;
  • Provide affordable child care and early childhood education;
  • Protect and expand Social Security;
  • Provide undocumented workers a path towards citizenship;
  • Support strong enforcement of labor standards, and;
  • Prioritize wage growth and low unemployment when making monetary policy.
As EPI stated in the document:
Over the last several decades, millions of women have joined the workforce and made huge gains in their educational attainment, which exceeds that of men. Yet women are still paid less than men. Indeed, gender wage disparities are present across the wage distribution and within education cohorts, occupations and sectors -- sometimes to a grave degree. Closing the wage gap is essential to helping achieve economic security.
If the U.S. wants a workforce at full employment, policies need to be put in place that allow workers (women and men) the ability to earn a living while also being family friendly. Right now, that's just not the case. It's why the Teamsters rolled out the "Let's Get America Working" platform earlier this year and why other allies have stressed these issues as well.

Congress must value all workers.