Honoring Connecticut’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women as They Celebrate Their 40Th Anniversaryby Representative Rosa L. DeLauro
Posted on 2013-03-19
in the house of representatives
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Ms. DeLAURO. Mr. Speaker, I am honored to rise today to join the many
who have gathered in Connecticut's capitol to mark the 40th Anniversary
of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women. Formed under
Connecticut statute and charged with a mission to study and improve
Connecticut women's economic security, health and safety; promote
consideration of qualified women to leadership positions; and to work
toward the elimination of gender discrimination, the PCSW is our
state's leading force for women's equality.
Women, in the workplace and in our society, have come a long way since the women's suffrage movement in the 19th century and the women's rights movement of the 20th century, during which time the PCSW was first established. Today, ninety-seven women serve in the two Houses of the United States Congress and thousands serve at the state and municipal levels as well. In fact, in Connecticut, women hold fifty- five seats in the General Assembly and half of the Constitutional offices. Women own their own businesses and are leading some of the largest corporations in the world. And yet women still face a myriad of obstacles in our society. Women still make seventy-seven cents to every dollar earned by a man in comparable positions and there is still a stigma attached to women in the workforce--employers still concerned about women who may have children or are thinking about starting a family and how those choices may impact their job performance or attendance. Women statistically live longer than men yet they have less retirement security, until very recently health research did not take into consideration the basic biological differences between men and women, and sexual harassment and discrimination continue to persist in a variety of forms.
The PCSW, through policy research as well as education and awareness programs, has helped to shape the debate around these and many other issues impacting the lives of Connecticut women and create public policy that makes a difference. The PCSW has had a leadership role in advancing legislation in Connecticut to prohibit sex discrimination in credit transactions, create the first family and medical leave protections in the country, and require health insurance plans to cover a minimum of forty-eight hours hospital stay for normal childbirth and ninety-six for caesarian sections. Each of these efforts now stand as law in Connecticut and have acted as a model for legislation in other states as well as at the federal level.
Under the outstanding leadership of Executive Director Teresa Younger, the PCSW is continuing in its strong tradition of ensuring that issues that impact women and their families are at the forefront of Connecticut's public policy discussions. I have spent much of my time in Congress focused on these issues and have often turned to the PCSW for guidance and support. It is with great pride and my deepest thanks that I rise today to congratulate them on their 40th Anniversary and wish them all the best for continued success.