Cicilline, DeLauro Co-Host Forum Highlighting “When Women Succeed, America Succeeds” Economic Agenda

Friday, November 8, 2013

PAWTUCKET – Dozens of Rhode Islanders joined U.S. Congressman David N. Cicilline (D-RI) and U.S. Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce this afternoon for a forum discussion on women’s economic issues.

“I want to thank David for hosting this important forum and having me in Providence to discuss the women’s economic agenda,” DeLauro said. “Women are really struggling financially. They are looking for an increase in the minimum wage, equal pay, educational opportunities to raise their income – to support their families and have a chance for a better life. For women and families to succeed, for Rhode Island to succeed, for America to succeed, we need to ensure women are getting equal and rising pay, that they can take paid time off from work when they need it, and that they have access to quality, affordable child care. Taken together, this agenda can make a profoundly positive difference for women and our entire economy. Both David and I will not rest until it has become the law of the land.”

Cicilline and DeLauro discussed their work to promote women’s economic concerns in the United States House of Representatives. Other speakers included Rhode Island State Senator Gayle Goldin, who also serves as the strategic initiatives officer for the Women’s Fund of Rhode Island, and Deb Masland, a Rhode Island resident who discussed her personal experience balancing work and family responsibilities.

"Policies that ensure equality for women are good for families and our economy, in Rhode Island and across the country,” said Goldin. “I applaud Congressman Cicilline and Congresswoman DeLauro for their ongoing work to stand up and fight on behalf of working women.”

Despite the progress made to promote gender equality over the years, Rhode Island women still earn an average of only 81 cents for every dollar earned by men. According to the National Partnership for Women and Families, only about one out of every ten American employees receive paid family leave through their job, and less than 40% receive personal medical leave through employer-provided, short-term disability insurance.

“Rosa DeLauro is leading the fight for America’s working women, and I am delighted that she was able to join us to underscore the importance of these issues in Providence today,” said Cicilline. “As we work to get our economy back on the right track, it is critical to ensure that all women are guaranteed pay equity, resources to maintain work and family balance, and quality child care services.”

Since his election in 2010, Cicilline has been a strong advocate for Rhode Island women in the United States Congress, most notably through his original co-sponsorship of Congresswoman DeLauro’s Paycheck Fairness Act and the Equal Rights Amendment – proposals that would ensure women receive equal pay and ensure that equal rights cannot be denied on the basis of gender, respectively. In addition, Cicilline has consistently supported strong appropriations funding for Title X family planning programs that provide breast cancer screenings, HIV tests, and contraception, among other services. Cicilline also joined President Barack Obama at the White House earlier this year for the signing of a strong, bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act.

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