Regardless of race or gender, all workers deserve equal pay for equal work. The majority of minimum wage workers are women. In 2016, when compared to every dollar earned by Caucasian men, women earned a fraction:
Latina women earned 58 cents on the dollar
African American women earned 65 cents on the dollar
Caucasian women earned 82 cents on the dollar
Asian American women earned 87 cents on the dollar
Women’s access to affordable health care, with comprehensive reproductive health options, is imperative. Funding for low-cost clinics must be protected. I am proudly pro-choice. I celebrate all the lives of both women and men that providers such as Planned Parenthood have saved over its years of service through preventative care. 2.7 million women, men and young people access their care through Planned Parenthood every year.
We need to continue to work with Mexico and other nations to eradicate the human trafficking of vulnerable women, girls and boys. California has led the way in decriminalizing child prostitutes which is one step in addressing the exploitation of young people on our streets. Rescued victims need treatment, counselling, housing and financial assistance to construct the lives they deserve.
There are unique challenges facing female service members and veterans. In our national conversation about taking better care of our veterans, we must begin to openly address and serve the needs of the brave women who choose to serve. Female veterans are more than twice as likely than non-veterans to be homeless, and more than three times as likely to live in poverty. There is not currently one full-time gynecologist on staff within the VA system in San Diego County (April 2016). Military Sexual Trauma (MST), is vastly under-reported within the armed services. Women’s service careers should not be in jeopardy for reporting harassment and assault.