For Immediate Release:
Chairman Says Congress Needs to Focus on Gender Equity
(Trenton, NJ) — Today, John Currie, Chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, celebrated the advancement of three women candidates to the general election, saying that Congress needs to focus on gender equity.
Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman emerged victorious in the state's competitive Twelfth Congressional District, while Aimee Belgard, a Burlington County Freeholder won the nomination in New Jersey's Third Congressional District, and Clinton Mayor Janice Kovach will be the Party's standard bearer in the state's Seventh Congressional District. As a result, this Fall, Democrats are likely to elect at least one woman to the New Jersey congressional delegation -- something that has not been done in over a decade.
"I’m glad that a greater number of New Jersey women are positioned to win congressional elections in our state than ever before. Our mothers, sisters, and daughters should have the same opportunities as men, and these women are as experienced, as capable, and as politically tough as male candidates. The fact is, when women succeed, New Jersey succeeds, and our three female congressional candidates are positioned for success,” said Chairman Currie.
Women comprise more than half of the population and a similar proportion of the electorate, but the Republican Congress has given gender equity short shrift. Inconceivably, Congressional Republicans support allowing health insurance companies to again deny health care coverage by considering womanhood a preexisting medical condition. They also delayed the re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act, refused to improve paid family and medical leave, and denied a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act.
Similarly, Governor Chris Christie has undermined women's health, eliminating nearly $7.5 million for family planning services that would have been matched 9-to-1 by federal funds, denying thousands of women access to mammograms and other basic health care services.
Meanwhile, Women in New Jersey are paid 78 cents for every dollar paid to men. That pay gap creates a yearly difference of $13,413 between what full time working men and working women earn. African American women were paid 64 cents and Latinas just 55 cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men.
Closing the pay gap would help families afford 103 more weeks of food, 6 more months of mortgage and utilities payments, 12 more months of rent, or 3,848 more gallons of gas — a real difference for poor and middle class families. It's also important to have female advocates in the fight to raise the federal minimum wage, as the majority of minimum wage workers are women.