Women's Equality Act proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo gets support from Pelosi, NY congresswomen

2013-06-07T15:27:00Z 2013-06-08T11:52:21Z Women's Equality Act proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo gets support from Pelosi, NY congresswomenRobert Harding | robert.harding@lee.net Auburn Citizen

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and six New York congresswomen announced Friday that they support the Women's Equality Act proposed by Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Pelosi praised Cuomo for introducing the 10-point plan, which includes provisions to address pay equity for women and end sexual harassment in the workplace.

"The Women's Equality Act will go a long way towards ensuring that women are treated respectfully and fairly in the state of New York," Pelosi said in a statement provided by Cuomo's office. "I applaud the governor for creating such a comprehensive reform package, and I am looking forward to its passage in the coming months."

Wasserman Schultz also lauded Cuomo for proposing the Women's Equality Act. She referred to the legislation as "groundbreaking."

"Nearly 165 years since the first women’s rights convention took place in Seneca Falls, Governor Cuomo has once again placed New York at the forefront of women’s equality with the announcement of his groundbreaking 10 point Women’s Equality Act," Wasserman Schultz said in a statement. "Women in New York earn only 84 cents for every dollar earned by men, amounting to $500,000 less over the course of a lifetime. Given this inequality, it is no surprise that women are twice as likely as men to live out old age in poverty."

The Women's Equality Act was also endorsed by six New York congresswomen — Reps. Nita Lowey, Carolyn Maloney, Carolyn McCarthy, Grace Meng, Louise Slaughter and Nydia Velazquez. 

Slaughter, a Rochester-area Democrat, is pleased with Cuomo's proposal. 

“Since the time of Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, New York has been a national leader for women’s equality and fairness," Slaughter said. "Leaders on women's rights at the federal level need good partners at the state level, and I'm proud of the package Governor Cuomo has outlined to improve women’s rights throughout our great state."

Earlier this week, Cuomo traveled to Seneca Falls to outline the Women's Equality Act and build support for the proposal. 

While speaking in Seneca Falls, Cuomo said it's time to end discrimination against women. 

"It is a societal issue. It is a cultural issue that we have to address, that we have to confront and that we have to say once and for all as a society it is not right. It is wrong. It is not fair. And we will not tolerate discriminating against women in the state of New York in any manner, shape or form, period," he said. 

Cuomo is hoping the state Legislature passes the plan by the end of the legislative session. The session ends June 20. 

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