Sandra Sohcot &
The 8th Critical Area of Concern, “Institutional Mechanisms” directs that the women’s community does everything in its power to ensure that responsibility for the advancement of women is invested at the highest level of Government; integrate gender perspectives in all legislation, public policies, programs and projeccts; and collect and disseminate statistics showing gender impact of policies and programs.
Mandates should be implemented to assure that all women of California are compensated for all labor and this be measured after a thorough, accountable and empirical process. California should assume responsibility as a model and catalyst for all states interested in truly counting and measuring women’s work and thereby providing a vehicle for economic justice, including reparations for all previously unpaid women’s labor.
The entire workday, both waged and unwaged, must be investigated to: 1) explore the costs of a woman juggling wage jobs and work in the family, and for reevaluation of waged work, currently grossly undervalued; and 2) include all sectors of women, black, women of color, immigrant, undocumented, Lesbian women, older women, women with disabilities, sex workers, etc.
CALIFORNIA VISION STATEMENT Our vision for the women and girls of California includes the following:
- Full participative democracy at all levels of social organizations by the year 2000
- Having unwaged work counted and compensated for , using the military budget to implement public policy for this.
- A new yardstick be established in claiming our human, economic, civic and social rights, strengthening women’s efforts for equity on every issue.
- The U.S. will live up to international agreements.
- National accounts be set up to study and record women’s use of time, including volunteer work and tasks performed simultaneously.
- To hold onto those things that we already have ( i.e. Civil Rights legislation, affirmative action, reproductive rights, suffrage).
- Require a referendum of the people before waging any military action.
- Establish ongoing dialogue with women globally.
- Passage of the ERA
- That institutions at all levels, federal, state, county and local are committed to working with NGO’s for active implementation of all parts of CAWA.
- Establish or work through established local state & national institutions that work individually and cooperatively to ensure the advancement and equality of women. This work includes gender perspectives and other diversity issues in all policies & programs.
- Form institutes to facilitate communication, consensus, and concrete plans for action involving various economic social religious & gender groups.
- There should be parity in political, judicial, social and economic participation
ISSUES OF CONCERN
- The Non-voting electorate (youth, working poor & women), because people are: 1)feeling disenfranchised 2) uninformed, disinformed, misinformed on the issues 3) issues that need to be addressed are not on the ballot, i.e. food, shelter, clothing, health care)
- There is a lack of participation in the social, political, economic dialogue, i.e. media, controlled by select few
- A “Careerism” prevails that corrupts the basic values we cherish, with a lack of accountability to the grass roots.
- There are inaccurate measures of women’s work
- Existing Commissions on The Status of Women need steady, reliable funding at all levels of government, with added outreach to develop even more.
- There is a need to secure the future of the National Interagency Council on Women.
- There is a lack of acknowledgement by institutions that all issues are women’s issues, i.e., all issues impact women.
- There is a severe lack of socially responsible women in elected, appointed, positions at all levels of government and quasi-puiblic office, including incorporated, unincorporated county, city, state, federal and international government and NGO’s.
- There is an absence of women in financial institutions at all levels including local, state, federal and international.
- There are a lack of mechanisms for accountability for men and women.
- There is a lack of communication/coordination between agencies, public & private that impedes the work of women to gain equality.
- There is a lack of accessibility to the general public by public and private agencies that serve women and children.
- There is a universal lack of trust that institutions do not represent constituents they serve
RECOMMENDED ACTIONSActions to be taken by Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations:
1. Action: Count Unwaged Work
Develop and expand further work already underway at federal level, at the state level and bring pressure on federal agencies to implement (Departments of Commerce & Labor)
1.1 Develop Resolutions for adoption by local agencies or legislators.
1.2 Query all candidates in public forums.
1.3 Op Ed pieces in local media.
l.4 Network with other NGO’s, welfare, health, domestic violence, and environmental groups.
1.5 Educate the public on the issue.
1.6. Bring pressure to bear on state legislature to implement “equal pay for equal work”.
1.7. Do everything possible to pass the prevailing wage initiative on the November ’96 ballot
1.8. Achieve a prevailing wage that is a “liveable” wage.
“Wages for Housework Campaign”
The International “Women Count” Network
(in San Francisco, Rachel West 415-626-4114; in LA, Ruth Tocasco, 213-292-7405)
U.N. Commission on the Status of Women
U.S. Dept of State National Report
2. Action: Insure that all eligible voters vote.
2.1 Implement and enforce motor voter bill
2.2 Hold voter registration drives
2.3 Facilitate citizenship drives
2.4 Acknowledge and prevent harassment of potential voters
2.5 Encourage multi-lingual forums to review ballots, one on one
Commission on the Status of Women
Operation 1000 (San Diego)
South West Voter Registration
League of Women Voters
School Boards and Administrations
3. Action: Election of women at all levels of Government with appointments to reflect the percentage of women in the population.
3.1. Promote and support those groups whose primary mission is to recruit and elect women to office & public appointments
3.2. Pursue legislation that would develop affirmative action policies for groups promoting women in public office, i.e. air time during election seasons
4. Action: To have institutions at all levels of government and NGO’s responsive to the goals of CAWA
4.1. Encourage networking among groups that promote women’s issues and a constitutional amendment for women’s equity (ERA)
4.2. Create a watchdog activity in CA tto oversee ERA, Affirmative Action and economic equity
4.3. Promote and do what is necessary to promote the ERA at the federal level.
4.4. Gain passage of Assembly Joint Resolution #71
4.5. Lobby legislators to ensure sex-equity funding is included in educational programs
4.6. Enforce “Gender Equity Standards for Teaching in the CA Public Schools” (April 1996, Commission on Teacher Credentialing)
5. Action: Implement Platform for Action Sec. 04/205
National Women’s Political Caucus of California
Local chapters of NWPC (25)
ACLU for Justice
Community College programs that promote women and careers
Political PACS for women, Unions
6. Action: Put institutions in place to facilitate communication, consensus and concrete plans for action involving various economic, social, religious and gender groups and identify existing organizations who could use the internet to accomplish this goal.
7. Action: To ensure that women are involved at all levels of budget-making
7.1 Elect women to office
7.2 Appoint women to commissions
7.3 Watch dog affirmative action in those agencies where women need to be employed in order to learn budgeting and public policy.
7.4 Educate and inform women about budget issues
7.5 Form active work groups and commissions that use coalition building for support.
8. Action: No War Shall be Waged without a Referendum of The People.
8.1 Implement a Constitutional Amendment
9. Action: Create free and easy communication linkages between women at all levels of government, at home and globally
9.1 Internet networking
9.2 Annual teleconferences national wide
9.3 Plan another Women’s World Conference for the year 2001
9.4 Regional Conference planning
9.5 Solicit funding for the President’s Interagency Council
10. Action: Hold Onto Hard-Won Rights
10.1 Defeat California Civil Rights Initiative
10.2 Protect ERA
10.3 Protect Reproductive Rights & Family Planning Programs
10.4. Secure steady & reliable funding for all Commissions on the Status of Women at all governmental levels
Adopted by the Institutional Mechanisms Task Force of the California Women’s Agenda Assembly on June 29, 1996