FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Women’s Leader Lauds President’s Call for Jobs, Innovation
Ness Says Strong Family-Friendly Policies, Anti-Discrimination Measures and
Fully Implemented Health Reform Will Make Economic Recovery Sustainable
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — January 25, 2011 — "President Obama gave a powerful and inspiring State of the Union speech this evening, with an emphasis on the issue of deepest concern to the nation: jobs. We applaud the focus on education, innovation and economic growth. We urge lawmakers to remember that we strengthen the economy and make recovery sustainable when we create good jobs that can support working families — jobs that provide basic, family-friendly protections like those being pioneered successfully in cities and states. These include a minimum standard of paid sick days, paid family and medical leave, flexible work, and other supports that workers need. That includes making the Healthy Families Act law, to provide a national standard so all workers can earn paid sick days.
Recovery also depends on strong anti-discrimination measures so we can ensure that discrimination no longer robs women, people of color and others of the wages they rightfully earn. We urge Congress to move quickly to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act to address the gender-based wage discrimination that penalizes so many hard-working families.
We strongly support the President’s message that we must not balance the budget on the backs of our most vulnerable citizens. We must not renege on Medicare’s promise of financial stability for millions of older women. And people living in poverty and those with multiple health problems need a safety net that is strong and durable, not ravaged by arbitrary cuts that save money in the short-term but harm the very fabric of our society over time.
Finally, we echo the President’s call to fix what needs fixing in health reform, and move forward to implement the Affordable Care Act in ways that ensure that gender discrimination no longer pervades the insurance market, coverage is affordable for everyone, and our fragmented, uncoordinated system is transformed into one that provides quality, coordinated health care to every person and especially to those who rely on our health care system the most."
The National Partnership for Women & Families is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.