The politics of women’s economics

Aug. 15 Women's Forum at Metro State. Photo by Nat Stein

Colorado may be a great place to live for a whole host of reasons, but it is the fifth least affordable state in the country for center-based childcare. “Reliable childcare is key to women being able to find and keep a job,” said Erin Bennett, chapter director of Colorado 9to5, a nonprofit that works toward economic justice by engaging affected women to improve working conditions.

Bennett spoke at Colorado Women’s Forum held at Metro State University in Denver, co-hosted by Senator Mark Udall and the American Association of University Women (AAUW). The theme of the morning was that so-called women’s issues are economic, not social, at heart. “What’s good for women is good for everyone” was a common refrain.

“Equal pay is an everybody issue,” said panelist Virginia McCarver, “I might get irked by the wage gap, but you know who gets fired up? My husband!”

Sen. Udall proclaimed he was there to listen and learn, though he did spend some time at the mic listing off his achievements and credentials. Three things the federal government can, should, but hasn’t yet done, he said, is raise the minimum wage, pass the Paycheck Fairness Act and let students refinance debt.

Contrast this forum with the Republicans’ gubernatorial primary debate on women’s issues in May.

[Photo by Nat Stein]


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