• Instructing democratic staff on the Joint Economic Committee to author a report on the harmful effects of the gender pay gap. Carolyn has been a fierce supporter of resolving the gender pay gap and ensuring equal pay for equal work. 


  • Condemning female genital mutilation and urging the Trump Administration to reconsider their devastating decision not to defend the 1996 law banning the practice. 


  • Sponsor, H.R. 3279: Diversity in Corporate Leadership Act of 2019. Establishes an advocacy group to increase the diversity of those in high ranking private-sector leadership positions. This initiative would have a transformative impact on the racial, ethnic, and gender make-up of these boards.


  • Sponsor, H.R. 5052: Stop Deceptive Advertising for Women’s Services Act. Introduced in 2019, this act prohibits orginizations from falsely advertising abortion services that jeopardize and harm women. 


  • Sponsor, H.R. 4376: Ending Tax Breaks for Discrimination Act of 2012. Eliminates the tax breaks received by private institutions that deny entry or membership based on gender, race, or ethnicity. 


  • Sponsor, H.R. 655: Susan B. Anthony Birthday Act of 2012. Designates the third Monday in February as a day to remember the profound legacy of women's rights pioneer Susan B. Anthony. 


  • Co-Sponsor, H.R. 1585: Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019. Strengthens the 1994 Violence Against Women Act by increasing resources for students, expanding STOP grants, and expanding housing protections for survivors, among other things. Carolyn’s Campus SaVE Act (H.R. 812), which mandates that college campuses inform students of helpful policies regarding sexual assault, was included in a previous reauthorization. Introduced by Rep. Karen Bass. 


  • Co-Sponsor, H.R. 181: Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015. Instates a grant program to compensate victims of human trafficking and provides additional funding to law enforcement in order to more effectively catch perpetrators of this crime among other provisions. Carolyn recognizes that this phenomenon disproportionately affects women and has been consistent in her mission to end this devastating practice. Introduced by Rep. Ted Poe. 


  • Co-Sponsor, H.R. 5165: Advancing Girls in STEM Act of 2014. Establishes a grant program that allocates funds to states that promote and encourage girls to enter STEM fields. Introduced by Fmr. Rep. Scott Rigell. 

Women's Rights

Women's equality can't wait.

Carolyn is a nationally-recognized leader in women's rights, passing legislation to preserve and promote the issues that matter most to women. She has made advocating for women's rights a central point of her illustrious career and sponsored or supported a myriad of groundbreaking legislation. Additionally, Carolyn has long-fought to build a Women's National History Museum on the National Mall to recognize the rich history of female American achievement and the Smithsonian Women’s History Museum Act (H.R. 1980) was just passed by the house. Her work on women’s rights has earned her the endorsements of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the National Women’s Political Caucus, NARAL Pro-Choice America, the National Organization of Women Political Action Committee, and Off the Sidelines PAC. Selected accomplishments include:

  • Carolyn has been a tireless advocate for the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) since her first day in Congress - literally. In the past year, it was finally ratified by its 38th state, and the legislation to repeal its deadline was passed by the house. It would put women into the Constitution, and give us the tools we need to ensure true equality against discrimination on the basis of sex. 


  • Championing reproductive rights and introducing the Access to Birth Control Act, which would protect the universal right to accessible birth control. As a staunch ally of Planned Parenthood, Carolyn has always advocated for a woman's right to choose and advocated to repeal the harmful Hyde Amendment. 


  • Authoring the original Debbie Smith Act to help reduce the backlog of DNA rape kits and bring perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice. RAINN has since called it “the most important piece of anti-rape legislation ever signed into law” and reauthorized twice. 


  • Leading the charge to protect women's rights internationally by helping to stop the defunding of the United Nations Population Fund, supporting the end of obstetric fistula, and sponsoring the Afghan Women's Empowerment Act. Carolyn was also the sponsor of the Repairing Young Women’s Lives Around the World Act in 2007 (H.R. 2811). 


  • Ensuring safe standards for feminine hygiene products including introducing the Robin Feminine Hygiene Product Safety Act of 2015 (H.R. 1708), which mandates investigation into whether additives to hygiene products are potentially harmful. 


  • Working to address the problem of sexual assault in the military by authoring the Bringing Justice to Victims of Military Sexual Assult Act, which was included in the National Defense Reauthorization Act. This amendment removes the backlog of sexual assault kits from the military, reduces processing times, and ensures that each military posting has an adequate number of testing capabilities. 

  • Carolyn has consistently worked alongside Afghan women and used her position in Congress to advocate for and protect the rights of women and girls in Afghanistan. She has fought to secure funding for Afghan-led programs focused on expanding the safety, education, economic security, equality and independence of Afghan women.  

  • Carolyn successfully amended the State Department reauthorization bill in 2003 to ensure $60 million of the funding would be put towards assistance for Afghan women and girls, in order to fund things like medical care, education, vocational training and legal assistance. She also helped establish the Afghan Women’s Fund, which put $22.5 million per year to provide protection and educational opportunities for women in Afghanistan. The fund emphasizes the importance of funding and empowering Afghan-led organizations.  

  • Carolyn’s commitment to Afghan women and girls has not wavered. She has continued to sponsor additional legislation to support Afghan women and girls, including the Afghan Woman Empowerment Act of 2009 (H.R. 2214). In 2017, she secured an additional $45 million per year from 2008 to 2010 to support the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission and the Afghan Ministry of Women Affairs, along with funding other programs to support Afghan women.