Despite major advances in civil and political rights, our country still has a long way to go in addressing the issue of gender inequality. Many of the achievements that have been made for women’s rights in the 20th century have been under attack by the Republican party — denying women control over their own bodies, preventing access to vital medical and social services, and blocking equal pay for equal work.
We are not going back to the days when women had to risk their lives to end an unwanted pregnancy. The decision about abortion must remain a decision for the woman and her doctor to make, not the government.
We are not going to allow the extreme right-wing to defund Planned Parenthood, we are going to expand it. Planned Parenthood provides vital healthcare services for millions of women, who rely on its clinics every year for affordable, quality health care services including cancer prevention, STI and HIV testing and general primary health care services. The current attempt to malign Planned Parenthood is part of a long-term smear campaign by people who want to deny women in this country the right to control their own bodies.
What can we do about it?
Fight for pay equity for women - Paycheck Fairness Act
It is a national disgrace that women only earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns. The gender pay gap is even worse for women of color. Today, African American women earn just 64 cents for every dollar a white male earns, while the figure for Hispanic women is just 54 cents.
Provide at least 12 weeks of paid family leave, 2 weeks of family vacation, and one week of paid sick days to American workers - Requiring employers to provide at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; two weeks of paid vacation; and 7 days of paid sick days. Real family values are about making sure that parents have the time they need to bond with their babies and take care of their children and relatives when they get ill. Make sure your representatives support the FAMILY Act - While this bill doesn't go as far as the platform ask above, it does expand the current FMLA to include pay through an insurance program set up like Social Security
Make quality childcare and pre-k available to all Americans - Child Care for Working Families Act - Every psychologist understands that the most formative years for a human being is from the ages 0-3. We have got to make sure every family in America has the opportunity to send their kids to a high quality childcare and pre-K program.
Make healthcare a right - See the full Healthcare for All campaign
Fight for a Medicare for All single-payer healthcare system to make healthcare a right for all Americans. If the United States joined every major country on earth and enacted a universal healthcare program, women would benefit the most. Today, women have much higher healthcare expenses than men and pay a greater portion of their healthcare costs out of their own pockets. Women make up two-thirds of the low-wage workforce and only about 23 percent of low-wage jobs provide health insurance. It is time for a Medicare for All single-payer healthcare system.
Expand social security - Fight to expand Social Security benefits by an average of $65 a month; increase cost-of-living-adjustments to keep up with rising medical and prescription drug costs; and expand the minimum Social Security benefit to lift seniors out of poverty. Women will benefit the most by expanding Social Security. More than twice as many elderly women lived in poverty than men in 2013. Without Social Security, nearly half of all elderly women would be living in poverty.
Fighting for LGBT Equality
The United States has made remarkable progress on gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender issues in a relatively short amount of time. But there is still much work to be done.
In many states, it is still legal to fire someone based on their gender identity and/or sexual orientation. Sadly, today there are many places where it is legal to deny someone housing for being transgender. That is unacceptable and must change. We must end discrimination in all forms and secure access to education, healthcare, employment, housing, and all other aspects of public life to gender and sexual minorities.
On average transgender people make less than 10k per year. We must work diligently to end employment discrimination and establish equal pay for transgender and queer women.
What can we do about it?
Sign into law the Equality Act, the Every Child Deserves a Family Act, and any other bill that prohibits discrimination against LGBTQ people.
Empowering Tribal Nations
Native Americans are the first Americans, yet they have for far too long been treated as third class citizens. It is unconscionable that today, in 2016, Native Americans still do not always have the right to decide on important issues that affect their communities. The United States must not just honor Native American treaty rights and tribal sovereignty, it must also move away from a relationship of paternalism and control and toward one of deference and support. The United States has a duty to ensure equal opportunities and justice for all of its citizens, including the 2.5 million Native Americans that share this land. It is no secret that this isn’t the case today.
What can we do about it?
Improve Housing - See the full affordable housing platform
Fight for increased local control over the administration and operation of tribal housing programs and for full funding of the Indian Housing Block Grant Program.
Strengthen Education - Support the full education platform
In order to create economic opportunities, we must invest in education from early childhood through higher education. We must fight to fully fund the Bureau of Indian Education and strengthen self-determination to enable culturally tailored learning, unique to each tribal nation, and help to retain qualified teachers for Native youth. We should build upon the “all of government,” integrated work of the Generation Indigenous initiative to ensure that every Native American child can reach their full potential. We should fight for plans that allow students to refinance federal debt, lower interest rates, triples federal work-study jobs, and provides for free college tuition at all public colleges and universities.
Improve Healthcare: healthcare is a right - Support the full Medicare for All campaign
We should support a Medicare-for-all system that would complement the healthcare provided by the Indian Health Service. We need to work to fully fund the Indian Health Service, strengthen regional management and recruitment of committed IHS health care personnel, demand audits of IHS operations, and ensure that Native Americans have adequate, safe, and affordable access to primary care providers, including oral health and mental health practitioners and substance abuse treatment options. Restore Tribal Lands: All tribes must have the right to protect and restore their lands. We support streaming the land-into-trust process and work to reverse the Carcieri Supreme Court decision that resulted in an unjust two-tier system of tribes.
Advance Economic Development - See the jobs platform
We support economic development in Indian Country and believe in investing in infrastructure. We believe we should investment to upgrade our roads and bridges, drinking water and wastewater, freight and passenger rail, and electric, telecommunications and broadband networks, and more. This effort will create and maintain millions of jobs across the country. The investment would go a long way to address the “digital divide,” because lack of internet access means Native American communities are at risk of falling even further behind in their ability to access employment, educational, and other opportunities made available by modern information technology. Lastly, all federal grants open to state and local governments will also be open to tribes.
Fight Climate Change and Promoting Environmental Protection - See the Green New Deal campaign
For instance, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ climate change plan to transition away from fossil fuels to a 100 percent clean energy system is a plan that we support. We must end fracking for natural gas and mountaintop removal coal mining.
Fighting for Disability Rights
When the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed 25 years ago, it was hailed as the world’s first comprehensive declaration of equality for people with disabilities. Today, as a result of this landmark legislation, millions of people with disabilities are no longer denied the opportunity to get on a bus, go to a decent school, make a decent living, attend a baseball game, and live successful and productive lives. Instead of being isolated and hidden from society, kids with disabilities are now in classrooms all over America and graduating from high school and college with the respect and admiration of their classmates, teachers, and families.
This transformation in our culture and society did not happen by accident, and it did not happen overnight – it happened because a grassroots movement demanded change. Despite the progress that has been made over the past two decades, we unfortunately still live in a world where people with disabilities have fewer work opportunities and where the civil rights of people with disabilities are not always protected and respected.