Women’s Rights

A long time has passed since Lisa Bhimani canvased in the Denver area for the Equal Rights Amendment with her mom. The ERA was not adopted but the struggle for equal rights and access seems more like it began there, rather than ended there. Since then tremendous progress has been made. Many have read in the chronicles of Gail Collins (When Everything Changed) and others of the discrimination women faced in the workplace, in the market place (no credit cards or mortgages without a cosigning husband or father), in the doctor’s office and in their churches, among many others places and settings. Much has changed. A woman can in large measure make her way in the world, have and raise children, and live her life according to her own lights and preferences.

There remain areas in which women continue to struggle against discrimination. There are “glass ceilings” in many domains. A number of professional and academic disciplines remain largely male enclaves. Most flagrant perhaps is the continued resistance to equal pay for equal work.

In April 2016 the New Jersey legislature passed an Equal Pay for Equal Work bill (S992), in May 2016 Governor Christie vetoed it stating that it was “very business unfriendly.” The bill was voted against in April by the LD25 Assemblymen, Bucco and Carroll, it was voted for in April by the LD25 Senator Bucco, but he changed his vote to “NO” in February 2017 when the bill was brought up for a vote again in the Senate in order to try to overturn Christie’s veto.