New York, NY – Dozens of women today joined City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and Council Member Jessica Lappin in a call to action for the empowerment of women and in support of the Women’s Equality Agenda. From fighting gender discrimination in all its forms to ending pay inequity to protecting a woman’s right to choose, the group united in their commitment to fight for all women across the state.

“New York has long been a leader in the fight to extend equality to people who are historically and routinely denied it,” said Speaker Quinn. “And although we’ve achieved meaningful advances in women’s rights, women still endure unfair burdens including barriers to equal pay, the right to choose and protection against domestic violence – obstacles that continue to affect their livelihood, wellbeing, safety and health. The Women’s Rights Agenda will improve these areas of life for women and ensure equal treatment under the law. I thank the Governor for spearheading this critical proposal, and I know that New York State will be stronger and better for it.”

Specifically, the Governor’s 10-point proposal will:
• Achieve Pay Equity
• End Sexual Harassment in All Workplaces
• Permit the Recovery of Attorneys’ Fees in Employment and Credit and Lending Cases
• Toughen Human Trafficking Laws
• End Family Status Discrimination
• Eliminate Source-of-Income Discrimination
• End Housing Discrimination for Domestic Violence Victims
• Stop Discrimination Against Pregnant Women
• Protect Domestic Violence Victims by Strengthening Order-of-Protection Laws
• Protect Reproductive Health Care Decisions
“It’s only fitting that today, on International Women’s Day, one day after President Obama signed the Violence Against Women Act reauthorization into law, that we stand united to voice our full-throated support for Governor Cuomo’s Women’s Equality Agenda. Whether it’s fighting for equal pay for equal work, reproductive rights, or against domestic violence and the scourge of human trafficking, New York State, the birthplace of the movement for American women’s rights, is once again stepping forward as a national leader,” said Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney.

“While some states, like Arkansas, are moving backwards on women’s rights, it’s wonderful that Governor Cuomo is moving New York forward. The right to choose, pay equity and combating discrimination are issues I’ve fought for alongside Congresswoman Maloney and Speaker Quinn, and I’m proud to see we’re making progress on these fronts,” said Council Member Jessica Lappin.

Announced during the Governor’s State of the State address in January, the Women’s Equality Agenda sets a comprehensive plan to combat gender discrimination and inequality, and to protect reproductive health care decisions. The press conference also served as an observance of International Women’s Day, a time to celebrate women’s achievements while raising awareness of the struggles that women face worldwide. Elected officials from all levels of government in addition to a multitude of advocacy groups joined today’s event in a robust showing of support for the proposal.

Please see attachment for a list of leaders expressing support for the Women’s Equality Agenda.