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Silencing the voice of women

February 02, 2012

The women and children of this state are facing a crisis of major proportions.

When California faces tough times, those times are even tougher for women and the families in their care. For the past several years, the state has consistently balanced its budget by cutting services to women and children.

The California Commission on the Status of Women is needed now, more than ever, to ensure women are not unfairly burdened in this dire economy. It is the official voice of women in this state and advises the administration on gender equity issues.

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It is difficult to believe that Gov. Jerry Brown wishes to silence the voice of women in his administration while threatening the ability of women to survive and succeed. Yet, in his latest budget proposal, Brown will be eliminating the state commission in June.

This proposal to eliminate the commission reflects a failure to understand the burdens disproportionately borne by women due to budget cuts, making the commission voice critical. Child care, health care and CalWorks, serving primarily women and children, all have been decimated.

Many jobs in education, health care and child care are held by women. These jobs are disappearing because of budget cuts. Domestic Violence shelters are no longer funded.

Our government exists for the people and by the people, yet more than half of the people have been underrepresented, undervalued and denied.

I am asking the women of Glendale to show their opposition to the elimination of the state Commission on the Status of Women by calling the governor at (916) 445-2841, or by sending a letter to him in Sacramento.

When decision makers understand how their actions impact men and women differently, they are better prepared to make sound choices.

Paula Devine

Glendale

Editor’s note: Devine is chairwoman of the Glendale Commission on the Status of Women.

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