By Anna M. Tinsley
Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
Even in 2015, women continue to face challenges in the workforce — from affordable child care to equal pay — despite decades of advancements.
That needs to change, especially at a time when women make up nearly half of the workforce across the country, said U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, who hosted a standing-room only Women’s Conference at the Kidd Springs Recreation Center on Monday in Dallas.
It’s time “to address the unfinished work the women’s rights movement demanded from society,” said Veasey, D-Fort Worth. “While progress has been made in expanding access for women, … there’s still a disconnect.”
That disconnect can be seen in the fact that women earn 79 percent of what their male counterparts earn, even as 40 percent of women are the primary breadwinners for their families, said Dolores Bischof, who has worked in the Women’s Bureau and U.S. Labor Department.
And that disconnect, many say, is across the board in the economy, child care, businesses and in elected offices.
If you don’t have a seat at the table, chances are you are on the menu. U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif.
Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chairwoman U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., said part of the problem is that men dramatically outnumber women in Congress and in state legislatures across the country.
In Congress, she said, there’s a saying: “If you don’t have a seat at the table, chances are you are on the menu.”
Responsibility of officials
Former state Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, said she grew up at a time where she had affordable child care, affordable college tuition and an employer who worked with her so that she could attend college.
“If it hadn’t been for a Planned Parenthood clinic near the home where I lived, I would not have had healthcare for about four years of my life … and the ability to control my own reproductive destiny,” she said. “If we can’t decide when and where to have children, we can’t realize the economic opportunities in front of us.”