Tag Archives: Women’s Rights

Double Booked: You Don’t Need it “All,” You Just Need a Sofa

 By Lori Weinstein

I had done it all: worked full time, part-time, downtown, from home, started my own business, even ran someone else’s business. From the time that my son was born, through the births of his two sisters and through their early childhoods, I was engaged in the chaos of career building in an inhospitable environment to prioritize parenting over work. I searched for balance (a fiction that I was well aware of) but my main priority was to be 100% mom while being the best employee as I could be.

I needed a career that was flexible enough to accommodate the single most important aspiration of my life – being a mother. Looking back on it now, it is funny how things have changed in a generation. Back then, flexible workplaces, benefit packages for less than 40 hours a week of work, and ascending any sort of career ladder when one prioritized family life was a self-inflicted tactic for career derailment.

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Miriam, women, dancing

Don’t Pass Over Us: Women’s Equality at the Seder

Moses. Aaron. Pharaoh. Our ancestors. Elijah. Family. Friends. These are the people we are most likely to think about as we sit down to our Passover Seder in the coming days. Passover lends itself so well to many of the critical social justice issues of today, from religious freedom, to  immigration and to human trafficking, to the environment and civil rights. But what about equality for half of the world’s population? Are we also thinking of Miriam – and women’s equality – as well?

Miriam, Moses and Aaron’s sister, plays a key role in the Passover story. Miriam watches over baby Moses as he floats down the Nile to Pharaoh’s daughter in the basket, leads the Jewish people in song after crossing the Red Sea, and provides for the Jewish people in their wandering with her well.

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Today is Equal Pay Day

This post originally appeared at WRJblog.

Who would believe that in 2014 we’d still be discussing gender-based pay discrimination? Certainly when Congress passed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, our lawmakers and the nation believed that we had taken major strides towards closing the wage gap. Did you know that the wage gap hasn’t budged in 10 years? Women who work full-time year-round make 77 cents for every dollar their male counterpart makes. And it’s even worse for women of color — African American women make 64 cents for every dollar their white male counterpart makes, and for Latina women, it’s 54 cents. This appalling, persistent discrimination needs action.

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Double Booked: It’s Equal Pay Day, Let’s Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act

A version of this post originally appeared on the RACblog on March 19, 2014.

Pay equity for women is a critical social justice issue of today largely because it has serious implications for the economic security of women and families across our nation. Read more about the gender wage gap: Fact sheet from the American Association of University Women.

It is also a critical social justice issue, however, because in a society such as ours that places great emphasis on work and the role of employment in our lives and livelihood, paying women less than their male counterparts signals that work done by women is worth less and that women are worth less.

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Senate hearing room, Senators

No Kidding: Senate Committee Hearing on Paycheck Fairness

On Tuesday, April Fools Day, the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee held a hearing – chaired by Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD) – on the Paycheck Fairness Act (S. 84). But pay discrimination is no laughing matter!

The Paycheck Fairness Act (PFA) would ameliorate the unbelievable reality that women in this country continue to make 77 cents on every dollar their male counterpart makes—and that figure hasn’t budged in over a decade! PFA would build on laws that are already on the books: the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Although these laws are important and significant improvements, not only just for women, pay discrimination continues, and we need legislation that responds to the reality that millions of women face around the country.

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Neera and family

Double Booked: A Fair Shot for Women

By Neera Tanden

I started working in Washington, D.C in 1997 for then First Lady Hillary Clinton on domestic policy. I worked on work-family issues like child care and after school back then and have kept up on the topic ever since. But the sad fact is that at the national level we haven’t had significant advances in policy on work-family issues since the passage of the Family Medical Leave Act in 1993. That’s why when I became President of the Center for American Progress I started a new women’s initiative that focuses on women’s economic needs, as well as reproductive health and leadership issues.

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Double Booked: Perspectives from the President of WRJ

By Blair Marks

With a demanding professional career managing the ethics and compliance training, communications and external engagement for a Fortune 500 company, some people think I am crazy for having agreed to serve as the President of Women of Reform Judaism.  Sometimes I would have to agree, but mostly I prefer to think that I am incredibly lucky.  It’s true that I don’t end up with much down time, but WRJ brought my life into balance when I worked in a male-dominated profession, and continues to give me a perspective on our world that I would never have otherwise achieved.

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New York City Has New Paid Sick Days Law

Yesterday, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio signed into law new paid sick leave legislation that will significantly expand access to this crucial paid leave and strengthen families across the five boroughs.

The bill Mayor de Blasio signed – his first since becoming mayor three months ago – expands upon a law that the City Council passed in June of last year. Now, businesses with five or more employees (previously it was 15 employees) must provide paid sick time. Additionally, the definition of “family member” was expanded to cover the time off to take care of siblings, grandchildren and grandparents. Previously, the definition only covered children and parents. This new law recognizes the reality that working families in New York (and truly, around the country) face when a loved one falls ill.

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