BPW Foundation's Women Misbehavin' Blog

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Archive for the ‘legislation’ Category

ERA Three-State Strategy

Posted by YWM on April 24, 2013

By Elisabeth Gehl

era-buttonDespite the gains women have made, women need a Constitutional guarantee to equality to prevent the many victories women have won over the past several decades being erased through Congressional legislative action.  The Equal Rights Amendment was first unveiled in Seneca Falls, N.Y., in 1923 at the 75th anniversary of the 1848 Women’s Rights Convention. Congress passed the amendment in 1972, but it died a decade later because it failed to win ratification by three-fourths of the states within a pre-set time limit.

Since that time, federal lawmakers have attempted to revive the ERA by introducing bills that would amend the Constitution and require three-fourths of the states to approve the amendment, or through the introduction of a “three-state strategy” for ERA ratification.

A “three-state strategy” for ERA ratification was developed after the 27th (“Madison”) Amendment, originally passed by Congress in 1789, was added to the Constitution in 1992.  Many ERA supporters contend that since a 203-year ratification period was accepted, the ERA’s ratification remains “sufficiently contemporaneous” as required.  In extending the original deadline, Congress demonstrated that the ERA’s time limit is open to change and  could therefore amend or repeal the time limit and affirm state ratifications which occurred after 1982, thereby keeping alive the 35 ratifications from 1972-1982.

This month Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) is keeping the “three-state strategy” effort moving forward by re-introducing a bill that would require only three more states to complete the ERA ratification process.  Senator Ben Cardin’s office is sending out a Dear Colleague letter to recruit original co-sponsors of this legislation, and his office has asked that women’s organizations provide their endorsement of the legislation.  BPW Foundation has added its name as a supporter of the “three-state strategy” bill, and will continue our strong support of seeing ERA ratification completed in this Congress.   Let your Senator know that you want them to sign on as co-sponsors.

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Posted in ERA, legislation, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

HERvotes Blog Carnival: Gen Y Women Benefit from the Affordable Health Care Act

Posted by egehl on March 20, 2012

Generation Y (Gen Y) women are a powerful force in the workplace.  They are an important constituency vital to developing a diverse and skilled workforce now and into the future.  By supporting young women and giving them the tools they need to succeed everyone wins because they are tomorrow’s thinkers, leaders, and enthusiasts about the issues we care about.  BPW Foundation has focused on Gen Y because we believe that understanding and addressing the needs of these women is critical for maintaining a competitive edge nationally and globally.  Through our Gen Y research, BPW Foundation seeks to understand what these women need in order to be successful in the workplace, and then translate that knowledge into tools that improve how employers recruit, support, and retain young women. We have found that there are many components to the future success of Gen Y women in the workplace, however, recognize that success in the workplace will not happen if they are not healthy.

The health of young women is at the foundation of their success because without it their ability to grow and move forward will inevitably be stymied.  For many young women, being able to take care of their health has been elusive because healthcare is too expensive, they cannot find employment in this tough job market, or they are underemployed with an hourly job that does not offer comprehensive health care.  Thankfully with passage two years ago of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many of those hurdles have been addressed with important components for young women included in the new law.

Most significantly for young women, the Affordable Care Act includes coverage for young adults under the age of 26 through their  parent’s health insurance.  Therefore if an adult’s plan covers children, they can now add or keep their children on their health insurance policy until they turn 26 years old.  Before the health care law, insurance companies could remove enrolled children usually at age 19, sometimes older for full-time students.

By allowing young women to stay on a parent’s plan, the law makes it easier and more affordable for them to get health insurance coverage.  This was a key provision because it allows Gen Y women, especially those just coming out of college and looking for jobs, to have a safety net during the first few years they are getting on their feet.  Without it they are left stranded and could face unpredicted health costs.  In addition, these young women can join or remain on their parent’s plan even if they are married, not living with their parents, attending school, not financially dependent, or eligible to enroll in their employer’s plan.

Even though young women may feel invincible when it comes to their health, they still must be mindful of preventative services they should undertake to maintain their health and avoid future illness.  This brings us to another important aspect of the Affordable Care Act for Gen Y women; the coverage of certain preventative services without cost sharing.  This includes coverage for immunizations, depression screening, pap smears, and services for pregnant women.  The more young women take care of themselves now through various preventative services the better off their health will be down the road thereby reducing their future health care costs which will benefit the entire health care system.

Additional aspects of the Affordable Care Act important to Gen Y women, particularly those who are single, include the potential of receiving tax credits to help pay for insurance starting in 2014 if their income is less than $43,000 for a single individual, and their job doesn’t offer affordable coverage.  Also starting in 2014, if a Gen Y woman is unemployed with a limited income of up to $15,000 per year for a single person (higher income for couples/families with children), she may be eligible for health coverage through Medicaid.

As BPW Foundation continues to examine Gen Y women, their career choices and the subsequent consequences these decisions have on their lives, workplaces and society, undeniably health is a part of that overall picture.  As the cost of healthcare rises, it is important that younger generations have the care they need either through their employer or family member so that they can treat and prevent illness.  The Affordable Care Act gives Gen Y women more choices to take care of themselves something that was missing before ACA was passed. And the absence of that option had a detrimental impact on the health of many young women.  Gen Y women need a safety net and available, feasible options to take charge of their health so that they have can a fulfilling career and the opportunities many of them want to give back to their communities.  The Affordable Care Act is a giant step forward in helping to make that happen for this next generation of women.

For more information about how the Affordable Care Act benefit young women please visit: http://www.healthcare.gov/law/features/choices/young-adult-coverage/index.html.

HERvotes Blog Carnival: Join us by sharing this and the posts below on Facebook, Twitter (using the hashtag #HERvotes), and other social media.

Posted in Gen Y, Health, HERvotes, legislation, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Joining Forces: Women Veterans Speak Out

Posted by danielleac on August 1, 2011

Read the latest article of BPW Foundation’s every-other-week Joining Forces feature that brings us the voices of women veterans telling their stories.  If you are a women veteran who would like to share your story, please contact us through our Joining Forces for Women Veterans Facebook page, or email dcorazza@bpwfoundation.org

A Complete Sexual Revolution.. Without any actual sex!

by Danielle Corazza

The Beatles song “Revolution” has been running through my head all weekend with these completely self-adulterated lyrics: “It’s gonna be a revolution, ohhhh, you know that it is.. It’s gonna be a revolution, a sexual one, that is..”

It all started with the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell earlier this year. The decision to allow any person to serve their country regardless of their sexual orientation or preference was long overdue.  And, I have been a bit impressed with the relative speed with which the Armed Forces have adopted the change, and rolled out the appropriate training. (I’ve seen name changes in the military take longer.) Seems like they’ve rounded third and are heading for a home run in the fairness, equality, and open-mindedness ball game..

But, wait. Something’s missing. Wonder what that could be?

Oh, yeah. Women.

As far back as the Revolutionary War, women were there. As the quote goes:

History raves about the heroics of men in war, but few instances are mentioned in which female courage was displayed. Yet during every conflict, and the peaceful years between, they too were there.

To borrow from the irascible, yet succinct, Capt Barb, “If she volunteers to defend this nation’s rights, then this nation should defend her right to volunteer for any military assignment.”

Women are in combat. It’s an undisputed fact, and no manner of fancy rule-engineering and loophole-diving can change it. So, why don’t we legalize it so that women may begin the deserved training and support?

On May 13th, 2011, HR 1928 was introduced in the House of Representatives and referred to the Committee on Armed Services.

HR 1928 outlines the findings that females in the Armed Forces are increasingly attached to combat units and engaging in frontline roles despite the current ground combat exclusion policy and also engaging in direct combat without receiving combat training. The purpose of the legislation is to ensure that modern military combat policies reflect the current operational environment of combat operations and to raise the recognition that female members for the Armed Forces should receive for their service.

Late last week, a group comprised mainly of female Congresswomen met as the Caucus on Women in the Military. After hearing from several subject matter experts, they recommended that the policy prohibiting women in combat be changed.

It seems that the steam is building, and that the batter is in the box.  Can we hit another home run for fairness and equality on behalf of women?

Make your voice heard by letting your member of Congress know now is the time!

Posted in Combat, Joining Forces for Women Veterans, legislation, Military, Uncategorized, Veterans, Women Veterans | Tagged: , | 2 Comments »