Fair Shot: A Plan for Women and Families to Get Ahead

Make workplaces more responsive to the needs of working families. Too many women face an impossible choice between fulfilling their family or work responsibilities. However, paid family leave legislation will provide workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new child or seriously ill family member or to recover from their own serious illness. The Healthy Families Act allows workers to earn up to seven days of earned sick time per year. We also will work with employers, policymakers, and advocates on flexible workplace practices for all, such as the ability to adjust hours or to work from home.

Make sure women earn what they deserve and have a fair chance to succeed in the workplace. Women are consistently paid less than their male counterparts and make up a disproportionate share of low-wage workers. Raising the minimum wage will help hardworking women support their families and enacting stronger equal pay protections, such as those found in the Paycheck Fairness Act, will hold employers more accountable for their practices, ensure vigorous enforcement, and empower women to uncover discrimination and negotiate for salaries they deserve. New efforts to combat gender-based stereotypes and discriminatory practices such as pregnancy discrimination are also essential to ensure all women have a fair chance to succeed. And we will take steps to address the rise of poverty-wage jobs in which women are disproportionately represented—including in fields like home care and child care—by professionalizing the workforce and, following the lead of several states, enabling them to act collectively to improve their economic conditions.

Ensure children get a healthy start in life and families have the care they need. The lack of quality, affordable preschool or child care options has an enormous economic impact on families. Expanding access to high-quality preschool and child care fulfills the dual purposes of enabling women and men to find and maintain jobs and helping children prepare for and achieve the best outcomes in school. We also will focus on the growing long-term care needs of families to expand access to care.

Protect women’s constitutional rights by combating the erosion of access to abortion. Congress should protect women’s access to abortion—regardless of where they live—and make clear that recent state restrictions on abortion rights improperly infringe upon women’s constitutionally protected rights.

Ensure women get accurate, medically appropriate information from doctors without political interference. Women must be able to speak honestly with their doctors, whether about pregnancy, prevention, or other health needs. Congress should prohibit political interference with the doctor-patient relationship and promote quality care for women regardless of where they go for health services.

Protect groundbreaking advances in women’s health, including Medicaid expansion. It is essential to ensure that women have access to affordable, quality health care and vital preventive services, are protected against discrimination, and can secure maternal health services and important protections like contraception coverage—all benefits conferred by the Affordable Care Act.

Ensure healthy pregnancies and deliveries. We must promote healthy pregnancies and deliveries by ensuring women have access to affordable health care, accurate information about health options, and unbiased, multilingual, and culturally competent services to give children a healthy start in life.

Promote women’s leadership and advancement. Promoting women’s leadership—whether in the workplace, the legislature, or beyond—must be a top priority to empower women to chart their own futures. This means removing barriers to women’s equal participation and advancement—from embracing economic security policies such as workplace flexibility, equal pay, and child care affordability to ensure women are not unfairly penalized because of their dual responsibilities at home and at work, to working to get more women elected or to have the opportunity to assume leadership roles at every level.