The Edina Indivisible Women’s Platform was authored and approved by the Edina Indivisible Women’s Platform Committee: Meg Davidson, Margaret Fitzhum, Kim Montgomery, Carolyn Peterson and Rada Varshavskaya.
At a minimum, any member running for Congress should state a belief in the Equal Rights Amendment as passed by Congress in 1972. The ERA was never enacted as it was ratified in only 35 of the 38 states necessary to enact it. Nevada has recently become the 36th state to ratify in March 2017.
The ERA states:
Section 1. Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.
Section 2. The Congress shall have the power to enforce, by appropriate legislation, the provisions of this article.
Section 3. This amendment shall take effect 2 years after ratification
The organization Minnesota ERA (mnera.org) proposes the following language, which the Edina Indivisible Women’s Platform Committee endorses:
“MN DFL will demonstrate its support for banning discrimination on the basis of gender by aggressively advocating for removal of the deadline for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) and for passage of legislation to put an ERA in the Minnesota State Constitution”
For the purpose of discussion topics, here is a brief outline of gender equality laws passed by other countries, specifically Iceland and Norway. Iceland and Norway are among the highest-ranking countries for women’s equality:
1. Make gender wage discrimination illegal
Require companies to prove that they pay employees equal rates for equal work or they pay a fine
2. Require public companies and governmental units to have gender equity and diversity hiring plan and to demonstrate measurable progress toward that plan. In Iceland, the law requires 40% of a company’s workforce to be women.
3. Require all companies with 25 or more employees have a measurable gender equity program, reviewed every 3 years.
4. Create and enforce leading parental leave policies. Promote affordable, high quality day care and pre-K programs.
5. Foster a culture of freedom from sexual harassment and create and enforce reporting policies.
6. Protect a woman’s right to make her own decisions regarding her body and health and provide safe, affordable access to the services that allow her to do so.
The case for women’s equality is both moral and economic. A recent census says:
In 2015—the year for which the most recent data are available—42 percent of mothers were sole or primary breadwinners, bringing in at least half of family earnings. Nearly another one-quarter of mothers—22.4 percent—were co-breadwinners, bringing home from 25 percent to 49 percent of earnings for their families. This represents an increase over previous years and is the continuation of a long-running trend, as women’s earnings and economic contributions to their families continue to grow in importance.
If women are increasing as a percentage or those heading households and also of total breadwinners, then it stands to reason that if women do better economically, the overall economy grows.