Democracy Awards

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. Nearly a 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 forms from their pay, workplace protections, social stresses, healthcare and reproductive rights, education, and elsewhere. 

By the Numbers

  •  On average, women are paid about 80% of what men are paid. For women of color, that gap is even wider.
  • The United States has the worst maternal mortality rate in the developed world, at 26.4 deaths per 100,000 live births.
  • Although women make up 49.6% of the world’s population, only 11 women served as heads of state in 2015, while 10 served as heads of government.
  • About one-in-five employed women in the U.S. (22%) say they have been sexually harassed at work.

Things to Know

  • 100% lifetime score from Planned Parenthood in supporting and protect 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 proud to sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R.1869), which 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 the rights to challenge and eliminate pay discrimination in the workplace. Mark is also a sponsor of legislation that will strengthen families: the Healthy Families Act (H.R. 1516), 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
Mark is a strong supporter of the Women's Health Protection Act (H.R. 1322), 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. 771) 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 firmly believes that equal rights for women should be enshrined in our Constitution. To support that effort, Mark sponsor H.J. Res. 33, 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. 53, which would remove the deadline for the ratification of the equal rights amendment.

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