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

The Democratic Party “will fight to end gender discrimination … [and] combat biases across economic, political, and social life.” They support national paid family and medical leave, and the Equal Rights Amendment. The Party also supports the United States National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, and the ratification of the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

Official Republican position

The Republican Party reiterates its “support for both the advancement of women in the military and their exemption from direct ground combat units and infantry battalions.” They “oppose unnecessary policy changes, including compulsory national service and Selective Service registration of women for a possible future draft.” The Party does not support the U.N. Convention on Women’s Rights because its “long-range implications are ominous or unclear.”

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.

Billy Long | Candidate for 7th Congressional District, 2018 Primary Election in Missouri (MO) | Crowdpac Joseph Pitts | 16th Congressional District, 2014 in Pennsylvania (PA) | Crowdpac Debbie Stabenow | Candidate for U.S. Senate, 2018 Primary Election in Michigan (MI) | Crowdpac Jeanne Shaheen | Candidate for U.S. Senate, 2020 Primary Election in New Hampshire (NH) | Crowdpac Lois Capps | 24th Congressional District, 2014 in California (CA) | Crowdpac Tammy Baldwin | Candidate for U.S. Senate, 2018 Primary Election in Wisconsin (WI) | Crowdpac Paul Clements | Candidate for 6th Congressional District, 2018 Primary Election in Michigan (MI) | Crowdpac Brad Ashford | Candidate for 2nd Congressional District, 2018 Primary Election in Nebraska (NE) | Crowdpac John Lewis | Candidate for 5th Congressional District, 2018 Primary Election in Georgia (GA) | Crowdpac Barbara Mikulski | U.S. Senate, 2014 in Maryland (MD) | 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.

Crowdpacs tagged Gender Equality

Relevant Committees


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