Women's Rights

Summary of Position

Despite the tremendous progress made in the struggle for gender equality, women still face violence, discrimination, and institutional barriers to equal participation in society. Even one hundred years after women’s suffrage, the United States has not yet guaranteed equal constitutional rights to women. Women continue to face the impacts of gender discrimination in many areas including pay, workplace protections, social stresses, healthcare and reproductive rights, education, and others. Gender inequities have been further revealed during the coronavirus pandemic, which placed extra childcare and domestic burdens disproportionately on women. In Congress, Congressman DeSaulnier is a vocal advocate for women’s economic, social, and reproductive rights.

By the Numbers

  • On average, women are paid just 80% of what men are paid. For women of color, that gap is even wider.

  • The United States has the worst maternal mortality rate among similarly wealthy nations, at 17.4 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.

  • Although women make up 49.6% of the world’s population, only 21 women serve as heads of state or government in 2020.

  • About one-in-five employed women in the U.S. (22%) say they have been sexually harassed at work.

  • If the trend of women leaving the labor force to assume caretaking responsibilities as a result of the coronavirus pandemic persists long term, women stand to lose $64.5 billion in wages.

Things to Know

  • 100% lifetime score from Planned Parenthood in supporting and protecting women’s health
  • Introduced a Resolution to designate ‘National Rosie the Riveter Day,’ a national day of recognition for the millions of women who supported the war effort on the home front during World War II
  • Only man to participate in the Bipartisan Women’s Caucus hearing on sexual assault in the military

Working for You

Supporting Women in the Workplace
Congressman DeSaulnier is a proud sponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.7), which passed the U.S. House of Representatives in February 2019, and would help address the wage gap between women and men working the same jobs by closing the loopholes that allow pay discrimination to continue and providing employees with the rights to challenge and eliminate pay discrimination in the workplace. He is also a sponsor of legislation that will strengthen families such as the Healthy Families Act (H.R. 1784), which would allow workers to earn up to seven paid sick days per year to recover from short-term illness, care for a sick family member, seek routine medical care, or seek assistance related to domestic violence.

Prioritizing Women’s Health
Congressman DeSaulnier is a strong supporter of the Women's Health Protection Act (H.R. 2975), which blocks medically unnecessary abortion restrictions being pushed forward in state legislatures. He also sponsored the Equal Access to Abortion Coverage in Health Insurance (EACH Woman) Act (H.R. 1692) to remove the bans that prevent women from receiving coverage for abortion services through Medicaid so that all women have access to the full range of reproductive health care services.

Promoting Equal Rights
Congressman DeSaulnier believes that equal rights for women should be enshrined in our Constitution. To support that effort, he sponsored H.J. Res. 35, which would create a new amendment to the Constitution of the United States to declare equal rights for men and women, and H.J.Res. 79, which would remove the deadline for the ratification of the equal rights amendment and passed the U.S. House of Representatives in February 2020.

For a downloadable copy of Mark's work on women's issues, click the image below.