Press Release: Support for Women’s Equality Agenda Spreads as Advocates Launch Regional Coalitions in Every Corner of New York


April 4, 2013
Contact: Tara Sweeney, 646-520-3518 (o); 917-488-0094 (c)

Support for Women’s Equality Agenda Spreads as Advocates Launch Regional Coalitions in Every Corner of New York
Statewide Coalition Announces Growth in Number of Businesses and Organizations Supporting the Women’s Equality Agenda

Statement from the New York Women’s Equality Coalition:

Today in six cities across the state, regional coalitions consisting of business leaders, women’s organizations, religious leaders, and labor groups held press conferences to trumpet the enthusiastic support in their region for Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Agenda. Events were held in Buffalo, Hudson, Mineola, Newburgh, Rochester and Schenectady, with more events planned in other cities next week.

As of April 3, 2013, nearly 750 organizations have officially signed on as members of the statewide Women’s Equality Coalition, with new groups announcing their support every day. The full list of supporting organizations can be viewed here. The New York Women’s Equality Coalition launched as a 501(c)4 organization in March.

The events held in cities across the state today and the ever-growing number of groups joining the coalition serve as a testament to the widespread, grassroots appeal of the Women’s Equality Agenda – a groundbreaking 10-point plan that helps address the barriers women in New York face, from discrimination in the workplace, housing and health care provision to income inequality to insufficient protections for domestic violence survivors and victims of human trafficking.

A Siena Research Institute poll conducted in March shows that 84 percent of New Yorkers support pay equity and 80 percent support updating New York’s abortion law – a near consensus among New Yorkers in support of the two components of the Governor’s 10-point proposal that have been most maligned by opponents. A high level of support was consistent upstate, downstate, among women and men, in cities, suburbs and rural areas, and across all age groups and party affiliations.

“New Yorkers know that what is good for women is good for New York, and good for society,” said Amol Sinha, director of the New York Civil Liberties Union’s Suffolk County Chapter. “The Governor’s commitment to pay equity, extending protections against sexual harassment to all of New York’s workers, and protecting a woman’s right to make her own private health care decisions will undoubtedly help level the playing field and ensure that all of New York’s mothers, daughters, sisters and wives can fully and equally participate in society.”

“We believe that passage of the Women’s Equality Agenda would be a monumental step forward for the thousands of low-wage women workers that we serve each year. By addressing gender-based income inequities and ensuring that victims of discrimination, domestic abuse, human trafficking, and other forms of abuse are able to achieve justice, New York can set a national standard for workplace fairness and equality,” said Milan Bhatt, co-executive director of the Worker Justice Center of NY in Kingston.

The message from today’s kickoff press conferences is clear, and it’s one that legislators would be wise to heed: No matter what region of the state they come from, New Yorkers want to see the Women’s Equality Agenda become law.