Fighting for Women
Congresswoman Maloney is on the front lines of the War on Women, breaking down barriers, defending women’s rights, and creating opportunities. Her career has been a series of firsts. Maloney is the first woman to represent New York’s 14th Congressional District; the first woman to represent New York City’s 7th Council district (where she was the first woman to give birth while in office); and was the first woman to Chair the Joint Economic Committee, a House and Senate panel that examines and addresses the nation’s most pressing economic issues. Equal rights for women is one of Carolyn’s top priorities. She has used her position in Congress to become one of the strongest defenders of women and their interests in Washington.
When Republicans convened a hearing on Birth Control with a panel of all-male witnesses, Carolyn stood up and demanded: “Where are the Women?” Sign Carolyn’s Petition to tell Speaker Boehner and the Republicans in Congress that Women’s Rights Matter! Among other things, Carolyn has passed, sponsored, authored, or introduced:
- The Equal Rights Amendment. The ERA would make equality between men and women explicit in the Constitution. Recognizing gender equality in our most hallowed document would be an enormous step towards ending sex discrimination. We would finally guarantee women equal footing in the legal system and be sure that government programs don’t discriminate.
- The Access to Birth Control (ABC) Act. Pharmacists in at least 19 states have refused to sell women birth control on the grounds that the pharmacists themselves don’t support it. The ABC Act requires pharmacies provide women access to birth control if it is in stock, notify women if the birth control is not in stock, and make sure that no one at a pharmacy can harass or prevent women from receiving birth control.
- The Breastfeeding Promotion Act. This act would require that employers provide new mothers, until their child is one year old, with a practical place and time during the day to pump breast milk.
- The Debbie Smith Act. The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) hailed this law as the strongest anti-rape legislation ever passed by Congress. Thanks to this bill, federal money will help pay for DNA analysis in sexual assault cases, finally allowing states to tackle the backlog of evidence that could help law enforcement get sexual criminals off our streets.
- The Federal Employees Paid Parental Leave Act. This act would provide paid leave to federal employees after the birth or adoption of a child, making the federal government a role model for private industry and bringing federal employment practices in line with those offered in most of the rest of the world.
- The End Demand for Sex Trafficking Act. This act would have fought sex trafficking and the exploitation of children by cracking down on the people who take advantage of the very vulnerable. It would also have helped state governments enforce bans on the commercial trade of human beings. Carolyn is the co-chair of the Human Trafficking caucus, and New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof said that, when it comes to fighting Human Trafficking, “No one has been a greater champion than Carolyn Maloney.”
-The International Women’s Freedom Act. Supporting women’s rights abroad ought to be a major part of our foreign policy. But in fights over funding, women’s equality is all too often shortchanged. This bill would ensure that the State Department has the resources to issue regular reports on women’s rights overseas - and to fight for equality. This includes tackling sex trafficking, domestic violence, child brides, and endemic sexual assault.
- The Obstetric Fistula Prevention, Treatment, Hope, and Dignity Restoration Act. Obstetric fistula result from complications during pregnancy. Afflicted women may chronically lose bowel or bladder control and are then often deserted by their families. We can fix a fistula with surgical care, or prevent them from occurring in the first place by fighting for family planning, OB-GYN care, and, crucially, primary school education for girls, which has been shown to reduce child marriage. Carolyn introduced legislation to fund groups like USAID, the United Nations Population Fund, and the Campaign to End Obstetric Fistula.
Carolyn has also fought for family planning at home - notably, she was a prominent voice in the fight to make Plan B emergency contraception available over-the-counter for adult women. She also created the Choice Scorecard, a program that assessed proposed federal legislation trying to limit women’s reproductive choices. Carolyn has also been a major force pushing for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, which she co-sponsored.