The St. Lawrence County Branch of AAUW, the League of Women Voters of St. Lawrence County, and 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East are part of a coalition working to support Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s women’s equality agenda.
Other members of the coalition include Planned Parenthood North Country New York and St. Lawrence Valley Renewal House for Victims of Family Violence.
During his Jan. 9 State of the State address Cuomo presented the Women’s Equality Agenda, a 10-point plan designed to reduce discrimination in the workplace and in housing, improve women’s safety and wellbeing, and ensure equal treatment under the law.
“When women suffer inequity before the law, by their employers, and are doubly victimized by crimes like domestic violence and human trafficking, they and their families suffer,” said Donna Seymour, co-chair of the North Country WEA Region, and a member of the St. Lawrence County Branch.
“Consider that 88 percent of public assistance cases for families are filed by women, and 71 percent of public housing units are occupied by female-headed households. Women who are pregnant or have children are less likely to be hired, promoted, or given raises,” said Kathleen Stein, president of the League of Women Voters of St. Lawrence County.
“Women are five times more likely than men to be sexually harassed, and one in four women will experience intimate partner violence in her lifetime. This inequality persists throughout the course of a woman’s life, meaning a woman is twice as likely as a man to live out old age in poverty,” said Seymour.
The governor’s agenda recognizes that women’s struggles are all interconnected, according to AAUW staffers. His plan attempts to solve all women’s issues as a package, rather than piecemeal.