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Ralph Northam shares vision for stronger families, gender equality in Virginia

ralph northamLt. Gov. Ralph Northam today unveiled a policy for working families in the Commonwealth, including proposals to address equal pay, paid family leave, and childcare affordability.

The “Stronger Families” plan is part of Northam’s vision for an economy with opportunity for all Virginians – no matter who you are, no matter where you are. That means ensuring a level playing field exists between men and women.

Strong women and families are vital to Virginia’s economic prosperity. Women make up more than 50 percent of the population, and own more than 36 percent of privately-held businesses that generate over $38 billion a year in revenue.

Currently, women are paid 80 cents on the dollar compared to men, yet they are the primary breadwinners in 38 percent of Virginia families. This gap is even worse for women of color: African-American women are paid 60 cents, Latinas are paid 63 cents, and Asian women are paid 85 cents for every dollar paid to a white man.

This pay gap shortchanges Virginia women nearly $11,000 dollars per year.

As governor, Ralph Northam will:

  • Fight for a law to make salary information more transparent, so women can fight discriminatory pay practices when they occur
  • Maintain access to abortion and reproductive care and keep legislators out of women’s health care decisions
  • Overturn the amendment banning abortion coverage in health insurance plans sold through Virginia’s healthcare exchange
  • Expand access to long acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) through public and private sources
  • Offer a tax credit to make it affordable for small businesses to allow full-time employees to take at least eight workweeks of paid parental leave
  • Continue his efforts as Chair of Commonwealth Council on Childhood Success to expand pre-K and make childcare more affordable
  • Fight for legislation to increase penalties for domestic abuse committed in front of a child
  • Require domestic abusers to pay for any counseling services needed by children who witness domestic abuse
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