At the request of Senator Holly J. Mitchell (D-Culver City), the Senate has established a new Senate Select Committee titled Women and Inequality: Strategies to Promote Opportunity, which she will chair.
"Women have not shared equally in the emerging recovery," noted Senator Mitchell, whose district includes much of South Los Angeles.
"Recent budget actions have targeted programs that low-income women rely on to support their families and acquire the education and skills they need to find and retain jobs."
According to the US Census Bureau's supplemental poverty measure, one in four women in California is living in poverty. The Institute for Women's Policy Research concluded that the gender wage gap for full-time/year-round workers is 23% and is largely unchanged since 2001.
Select committees provide legislators the opportunity to study specific issues in depth and evaluate policy issues and problems in order to develop long range solutions.
"Alleviating inequality and creating opportunity for women and families is the best way to help children realize their potential and for our society to make opportunity real," said Senator Mitchell.
The Committee plans to focus in three areas, initially, through public hearings and community outreach:
1. Development of an overview of Women and Extreme Inequality, focusing on those facing the most difficult challenges.
2. Women in Poverty, with special attention to impacts on children and how state programs might better address needs and expand options.
3. Women and Ethnicity, examining the intersection of gender, race and ethnicity in the work force, education and safety net participation.
For more information or to make suggestions for the Committee's work, contact Senator Mitchell's Capitol office at (916) 651-4026.