Governor Brown says the California Commission on the Status of Women should be eliminated. State Senator Noreen Evans is chair of the Legislative Woman’s Caucus, and she disagrees.
Recently, the Governor proposed eliminating the Commission on the Status of Women-the only state agency overseeing issues impacting women.
Women have made progress in the 47 years since the first Governor Brown established the Commission, but we have a long way to go. Women are over half of the state population, but only 28% of California legislators are women. Only one Fortune 500 company in California has a woman CEO.
More than one-third of households headed by women with children have an income below the poverty level. Compared to men, California women earn 84 cents on the dollar; African American women earn 68 cents and Latinas 59 cents. At the same time the state has been slashing services upon which women and children rely.
Now, more than ever, women need a voice in our government.
Decisions we make to balance our budget disproportionately impact women. Programs serving primarily women and children have been decimated. Most jobs in education, health care, and child care are held by women. These jobs are disappearing because of budget cuts. And, women are often hit by reductions in more than one service.
The Commission on the Status of Women is the official voice of California women and advises the administration on gender equity issues.
When decision-makers understand how their actions impact men and women differently, they are better prepared to make sound choices. Our government exists for the people and by the people, yet over half of the people have been historically underrepresented, undervalued, and denied.
That history can't be eliminated and neither should the Commission on the Status of Women.