Democrats Move Workplace Aspects of the Republicans' "War on Women" to the Forefront

February 28, 2014

In an effort to bring more women to the polls in this year's election, Democratic leaders are working with the White House to expand their "War on Women" message beyond reproductive rights to include pay equity and employer leave policies.  "This is a driver," said New York Rep. Steve Israel, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.  "There may be issues that flare up or die down, but this is a driver of the next nine months."  According to an article in Politico this week:

The logic is simple: Democrats tend to win elections when more women vote, and women tend not to vote as much in midterm years. . . . With Democrats trying to hold onto the Senate, make gains in the House and win several key governor’s races, they need women showing up at the polls and voting for them in numbers that defy those trends. 

Thus, Democrats will highlight Republican opposition to the Paycheck Fairness Act, the Healthy Families Act and other workplace regulation measures.  This spring, the White House will host a Working Families summit that will focus on these and other issues.  EMILY's List communications director Jess McIntosh contends that the Republicans' "argument is that the issue of economic opportunity for women simply doesn't exist: We don’t need to close the wage gap.  We don't need to raise the minimum wage.  Now Republicans get to be just as out of touch on economic issues as they are on social issues—which was a really high bar."  At our annual CHRO Summit, we will focus extensively on these issues in the context of how CHROs are addressing gender issues within their own companies and the positions the Association should be taking in the public policy arena on these issues.