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Title IX Enforcement Funding Gets a Boost in the President's Budget

Posted by Laura Checovich, Intern | Posted on: February 04, 2015 at 12:48 pm

In 1973, legendary female tennis player Billie Jean King faced taunts and disbelief when she played Bobby Riggs in the famously televised “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match. 

This week, Serena Williams won her 19th grand slam title.

Today we celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day. We are reminded this week how far girls and women have come in sports since 1972 when Title IX was passed: women’s participation in collegiate athletics climbed from less than 16 percent in 1972 to 44 percent in the 2010-11 academic year.  Though women’s sports participation is far from equal, last year girls’ participation in high school sports hit a record-high: girls make up almost 42 percent of high school athletes.

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The President’s FY2016 Budget Will Invest in Making College More Affordable for Women and Families

Posted by Adaku Onyeka-Crawford, Fellow | Posted on: February 03, 2015 at 01:23 pm

The President wants to devote $1.365 billion in FY2016 to America’s College Promise, a new program that would make up to two years of tuition free for students enrolled at least half-time in a community college. According to the recently released U.S. Department of Education’s FY2016 budget, the cost of the program would increase as more students took advantage of it, to $60.3 billion over ten years. But that’s a modest investment that would make college more affordable for low- and middle-income families—particularly for women, who make up 56% of community college students and 66% of the low-wage workplace.

A college degree can provide a pathway out of low-paying jobs and into fields with higher pay and more opportunities for professional growth. That’s a no-brainer. Yet, the rising cost of tuition has meant that many students must either forgo college or rely on student loans, which can mean devoting high percentages of post-college earnings to loan repayment. This imposes a particular burden on women, who are paid less than men, even with a college degree. On average, women who borrow to attend community college take out $2,000 more in student loans than men at community colleges do.

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Expanding Preventive Services in FY2016

Posted by Stephanie Glover, Health Policy Fellow | Posted on: February 03, 2015 at 12:12 pm

Yesterday, the President released his budget for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016. The budget maintains the President’s commitment to fully implementing the Affordable Care Act and takes other steps to protect women’s access to health care. The budget proposes requiring states to cover preventive services without cost-sharing in traditional Medicaid – a major step towards increasing access to the preventive services that women need to live longer lives and stay healthy.

The proposal to expand preventive services coverage to Medicaid includes eight women’s preventive services. These services were developed by the Institute of Medicine and endorsed by the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA). They include: (1) Breastfeeding support, supplies, and counseling; (2) Screening and counseling for interpersonal and domestic violence; (3) Screening for gestational diabetes; (4) DNA testing for high-risk strains of HPV; (5) Counseling regarding sexually transmitted infections, including HIV; (6) Screening for HIV; (7) Contraceptive methods and counseling; and (8) Well woman visits. Thanks to the ACA, most women already have access to these services without cost-sharing, including women in private plans and women enrolled in expanded Medicaid coverage.

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Support Young Hearts and Minds: Invest In Child Care

Posted by Amanda Hooper, Outreach Manager | Posted on: January 30, 2015 at 01:22 pm

Valentine’s Day may still be a few weeks away, but child care advocates across the country are already busy with a project to bring attention to the importance of child care and early learning. The project? Making valentines to the U.S. Senate that highlight the importance of investing in high-quality, affordable child care.  This project is part of an effort by NWLC, national partners, and child care advocates across the country to ensure that Congress understands the need for new funding to successfully implement the new Child Care and Development Block Grant reauthorization law.

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Happy 40th Birthday EITC! 10 Things We Love about the Earned Income Tax Credit

Posted by Susanna Birdsong, Fellow | Posted on: January 30, 2015 at 09:24 am

This year, the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) turns 40. Happy Birthday EITC! To celebrate, here are 10 important things to remember about this vital support for working families.

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Six Facts about Equal Pay on the Sixth Anniversary of Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act

Posted by Katherine Gallagher Robbins, Director of Research and Policy Analysis | Posted on: January 29, 2015 at 10:09 am

Today marks six years since President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act into law. This law restores important protections against pay discrimination which were stripped away in the Supreme Court’s decision in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. and is a critical step in the fight to close the wage gap. But the fight is far from finished. Here are six facts that show how much farther we still have to go:*

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“I Thought They Were Treating Me Fairly,” Or, Honoring Lilly Ledbetter by Eliminating Pay Secrecy Policies

Posted by Abigail Bar-Lev, Fellow | Posted on: January 29, 2015 at 09:50 am

“I thought I was earning good pay. I thought they were treating me fairly.” Those are the words of Lilly Ledbetter, whose story and Supreme Court case eight years ago opened many eyes to the egregious pay discrimination that continues across the American workforce.  Her story even moved Congress to act. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama six years ago today as one of his first official acts as President, restored longstanding law and helped to ensure that individuals subjected to unlawful pay discrimination are able to effectively assert their rights under the federal anti-discrimination laws. The Act operated to overturn a ruling by the Supreme Court, which would have required individuals to file claims for pay discrimination within 180 days of the first instance of discrimination—even where the employee does not learn about the discrimination until years or decades later, as what happened to Lilly Ledbetter. Under the Act, each discriminatory paycheck (rather than simply the original decision to discriminate) resets the 180-day limit to file a claim.

The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act has been a critical tool for victims of pay discrimination and it has reestablished employer accountability for pay discrimination. And yet, the Act is just one of many tools needed to rectify pay discrimination and close the gender-based wage gap, which remains at about 78 cents on the dollar.

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