Since the founding of BPW in July 15, 1919, three major thrusts shaped BPW legislative agenda:
- Elimination of sex discrimination in employment
- The principle of equal pay
- The need for a comprehensive equal rights amendment.
These goals have not changed in the proposed 2010-2011 BPW/FL legislative platform.
The Preamble of the platform states clearly that the Equal Right Amendment, as authored by Alice Paul, shall stand first, foremost and above all other items which may appear on the legislative platform of the Federation until equal rights for women and men become guaranteed in the United States Constitution. The amendment reads:
“Equality of rights under the law shall not be abridged or denied by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
Florida is one of the few states that has failed to pass this amendment, and once again BPW/FL will fight this year for passage.
Other items of the platform include economic equity, opportunity and self sufficiency, education and health care. These are familiar items, but there is more emphasis in this platform on quality dependent care to help insure economic self sufficiency for women and social security reform options that benefit women.
Emphasis is also placed on encouraging girls to pursue non -traditional curriculum and funding for women’s athletics, comparable to men’s athletic programs.
While legislation that ensures reproductive choice continues and is still much needed, we also give added support to alternative care delivery systems to ensure affordable insurance for working women and heath care for the elderly.
This proposed legislation will be voted in the Florida State Convention at the end of May. You are encouraged to visit the BPW/FLORIDA website, to read the proposed legislation fully. I will report back on this platform after passage.