House Democrats on Thursday launched a new campaign designed to bolster economic opportunities for women.
Behind House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the lawmakers are pushing a series of bills to promote pay equity in the workplace, make child care more affordable and encourage a balance between jobs and family for the nation’s working women.
“When women succeed, America succeeds. This agenda is about the future of America’s families and the growth of America’s economy,” Pelosi told a crowd gathered outside the Capitol on a sweltering day in Washington. “It is about unleashing the power of our nation’s women and in doing so strengthening the middle class, the backbone of our democracy.”
Though unmentioned on Thursday, the push is also a not-so-veiled effort to distinguish Democrats from the majority Republicans when it comes to issues of gender.
Pelosi and the Democrats scored a political win last year when they attacked the Republicans for proposals limiting federal backing for women’s reproductive healthcare services. The latest campaign extends that fight to the economic realm.
Central to the effort is legislation sponsored by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.) – the Paycheck Fairness Act – that would discourage pay discrimination by empowering workers to share more wage information and providing women with more tools to challenge gender-based wage discrepancies.