Friday, November 24, 2017

Advocacy Groups Form Women’s Policy Network, Fault GA Majority

A coalition of largely left-leaning organizations announced the formation of the Ohio Women’s Policy Network Tuesday to promote economic security for women and families, which often make up some of the poorest households in Ohio and the U.S., say advocates.

Representatives of the Innovation Ohio Education Fund, Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, ProgressOhio, NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, National Coalition of 100 Black Women-Central Ohio Chapter, and Ohio Domestic Violence Network gathered in the Statehouse Ladies’ Gallery to unveil the new partnership, which incorporates some two dozen members which also includes ACLU of Ohio, Catholics for Choice, Main Street Alliance of Ohio, National Council of Jewish Women-Cleveland Chapter, Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence, Ohio NOW, Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Ohio, Policy Matters Ohio, and United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 75, among others.

“In Ohio, over two-thirds of working women are the sole, primary or co-breadwinner for their families. Yet public policy fails to catch up to the changing dynamics of the workforce,” said President and CEO Nichole Dunn of the Women’s Fund of Central Ohio, which is supporting the effort along with the Innovation Ohio Education Fund.

Linda Kanney, president of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women-Central Ohio Chapter, said the picture is even worse for African Americans. “The median wage for black women is $32,000, while the median wage for white men is over $50,000,” she noted.

Releasing a legislative report card for the 131st General Assembly, the Women’s Policy Network will advance public policy changes in three main categories: (1) Promoting economic security for women and families, (2) ensuring fairness and opportunity in the workplace, and (3) improving women’s health and wellbeing.

The Women’s Economic Security Scorecard rates each policy goal based on corresponding legislative action. Of 22 individual categories, the Ohio General Assembly received only five grades better than a D or an F.

“Our state Legislature has the power and the responsibility to create policies that help establish a pathway to economic security for women and families in Ohio,” said Erin Ryan, development director of Innovation Ohio Education Fund, which also convened the new group. “Unfortunately, the Women’s Public Policy Network Scorecard results demonstrate that our current lawmakers failed to take substantive action on policy goals that would do just that.”

The grade of D -- the lion’s share of report card ratings – represents “minimal or no attempt” by the legislative majority to advance a given policy goal. The scorecard’s three Fs highlight developments in which the General Assembly “advanced harmful legislation which hurt efforts to ensure access to safe and healthy reproductive health care.”

Said Deputy Director Jaime Miracle of NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio, “The Ohio Legislature is failing across the board.”

“There must be a more concerted effort by state lawmakers to advance policies that will make a positive impact on the lives of women and families,” added Ryan.

The news was not all bad, as the General Assembly managed four Bs for increased access to child care and public preschool, monetary and investigative support for survivors of sexual and domestic violence, community programs to prevent sexual and domestic violence, and other protections for survivors of sexual and domestic violence.

“We certainly made some steps forward ... but it’s not nearly enough,” said Executive Director Nancy Neylon of Ohio Domestic Violence Network.

The legislative majority also received a C for protections against workplace discrimination against pregnant and breastfeeding women in SB301 (Jones-Cafaro), a bipartisan bill sponsored by every female senator as well as three Republican and two Democratic men. The bill has received three hearings but no committee vote as yet.

More on the Women’s Policy Network and its 2016 scorecard can be found on the Hannah News homepage at http://www.hannah.com/>New Important Documents>Library.
Story originally published in The Hannah Report on June 28, 2016.  Copyright 2016 Hannah News Service, Inc.


© Copyright 1986 - 2017 Hannah News Service, Inc. Columbus, Ohio. All Rights Reserved.

THE HANNAH COLLECTION
Capitol Connection | Hannah Report | ActionTRACK™
Ohio News Wire | The Complete Statehouse | State Health Clips
21 West Broad Street, Suite 1000 (10th Floor) Columbus, OH 43215
614.227.5820 phone - 614.228.5897 fax
NOLOA Member