Basic Briefing

The Gender Equality Debate

The debate on gender equality focuses on the effectiveness of current laws to prevent gender discrimination and the need for additional protections. Should the US ratify the Equal Rights Amendment? Should insurance companies be allowed to charge differently based on gender? Should health plans have to cover contraception without a patient co-pay? Should women be allowed to serve in combat roles in the military? Are more laws needed to achieve equal pay and protect women against violence?

Official Democratic position

“We Democrats will continue to support efforts to ensure that workers can combat gender discrimination in the workplace.” The Party supports the Paycheck Fairness Act and broadening the Family and Medical Leave Act. The Party supports ratifying the UN Convention on Women’s Rights and the Equal Rights Amendment. The Party opposes charging women more for healthcare and believes women should have “…free access to preventative care, including…contraception.”

Official Republican position

“We support military women’s exemption from direct ground combat units and infantry battalions”

The Republican Party opposes the UN Convention on Women’s Rights because its “…long-range impact on the American family is ominous or unclear.”

The 2012 Republican Party Platform does not include other language on issues related to gender equality.

Institutional framework

Various federal offices are engaged in preventing gender discrimination. The US Department of Education is responsible for enforcing Title IX. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is responsible for enforcing laws that are aimed at preventing gender discrimination in the work place. The Office of Violence Against Women works within the Department of Justice.

Constitutional Amendments, such as the proposed Equal Rights Amendment, must receive a supermajority in the House and the Senate and must be ratified by ¾ of the states. International Treaties, such as the UN Convention on Women’s Rights, must be voted on in the Senate and signed by the President.

Most Vocal on Gender Equality

These are the candidates who focus on this issue the most, with the most liberal on this issue on the left and the most conservative on this issue on the right. Click on the circles to see more information.


Yvette Clarke | Candidate for 9th Congressional District, primary (2018) in New York (NY) | Crowdpac Carolyn Maloney | Candidate for 12th Congressional District, primary (2018) in New York (NY) | Crowdpac Barbara Mikulski | US Senate (2014) in Maryland (MD) | Crowdpac Diana DeGette | Candidate for 1st Congressional District, primary (2018) in Colorado (CO) | Crowdpac Nita Lowey | Candidate for 17th Congressional District, primary (2018) in New York (NY) | Crowdpac Betty McCollum | Candidate for 4th Congressional District, primary (2018) in Minnesota (MN) | Crowdpac Randy Hultgren | Candidate for 14th Congressional District, primary (2018) in Illinois (IL) | Crowdpac Barbara Lee | Candidate for 13th Congressional District, primary (2018) in California (CA) | Crowdpac Louise Slaughter | Candidate for 25th Congressional District, primary (2018) in New York (NY) | Crowdpac Lucille Roybal-Allard | Candidate for 40th Congressional District, primary (2018) in California (CA) | Crowdpac

The Spectrum on Gender Equality

These are the candidates who are most liberal, most conservative, and most moderate on this specific issue. Click on each candidate to see more information.

Relevant Committees

Resources

Concerned Women for America (CWA) - Founded in 1979, conservative women's group

National Organization for Women (NOW) - Founded in 1966, fighting for economic equality, reproductive freedom, and ending violence against women