Which policies can eliminate the barrier to equal participation–and earnings–in the economy for working women and ensure economic survival for women struggling in poverty? Which strategic policies will help women-owned businesses grow and create more jobs? What strategies or policies could stem the tide of women flooding our criminal justice system?
These, and other questions curated by The Women’s Debate, are just a few that are NOT being asked, as demonstrated again by Monday’s first presidential debate hosted by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
The Women’s Debate has submitted nine questions directly to Secretary Clinton and Mr. Trump to give women’s issues the attention they deserve this election. For the questions, please refer to www.womensdebate.org/questions. The Women’s Debate has also posted these questions for users to vote on Presidential Open Questions hosted by the Open Debate Coalition. (Just follow the links below each to vote).
With three debates to go, including a Vice Presidential debate, let’s hope that women–and all voters who care about women’s issues–get some answers.
Click here to read our letter to the nominees.
We've been asked to share the questions here in the post, so here are some without making the post too long.
On the Economy:
The economy remains the issue most important to voters. Here is how we talk about women's participation in--and contribution to--the economy.
U.S. Census data consistently shows that women are more likely to live in poverty than men. Poverty rates are even more disproportionate for single mothers, for women in retirement, for millennial women aged 18-24, for women of color and for women with disabilities. Family households led by single women had the lowest median income in 2015, even as two-thirds of American women are either the primary or co-breadwinners of their families.Which policies can eliminate the barriers to equal participation–and earnings–in the economy for working women and ensure economic survival for women struggling in poverty?
Access to capital—whether through traditional loans, angel investments, or VC fundraising—is crucial to the growth of businesses, especially small businesses. For women, that access is often limited. More than eleven million women own businesses that contribute $1.6 trillion to the US economy and have created 9 million jobs, but only 1 out of 3 applications for loans are approved for women-owned firms and just $1 out of every $23 in conventional small business loans goes to women-owned businesses. Less than 7% of venture capital is invested in women founders. Which strategic policies will help women-owned businesses grow and create more jobs?
On Health, Safety, and Family Policies:
Women and girls disproportionately experience sexual violence, exploitation, and abuse in the following forms: domestic and intimate partner violence; sexual assault on campuses, in the military, and in prisons; sexual harassment in the workplace, online, and in public spaces; and commercial sexual exploitation through human trafficking. Such violence has costly psychological, health, social, and economic consequences, both for victims and for society at large, including trauma, disabilities, job loss, interruption of education, homelessness, substance abuse, and incarceration. As president, what measures would you take to reduce incidents of gender-based violence?
Women are the fastest growing segment of our incarcerated population in the last three decades. Core drivers are a disproportionate lack of access to opportunities and resources coupled with higher experience of physical, emotional and sexual abuse, mental illness, and addiction. More than 80% of women in jails have minor children at home, and they face more barriers to reentry, which can perpetuate a cycle of poverty and incarceration for their children, for whom more women bear primary child-rearing responsibility. This cycle of poverty and incarceration gets worse for women of color. What strategies or policies could stem the tide of women flooding our criminal justice system?
Politicized debate about the access to contraception and abortion, particularly when those services overlap with taxpayer dollars, have caused reproductive health and sex education to be isolated from primary medical care. A core segment of reproductive health for individuals and couples is family planning, which seeks to reduce the health and economic consequences of unintended pregnancies and poor pre-natal care. Among industrialized nations, the US has the highest rates of preterm births, first-day infant death, infant death before the age of one, teen pregnancy and the highest risk of women dying in childbirth. Medical studies show that effective birth spacing and access to affordable women’s health care improves the health outcomes of those pregnancies. Among both pro-life and pro-choice advocates, some argue that a true culture of life supports families and makes it easier to raise healthy children. How might we mobilize religious and non-religious resources to collaborate in order to reduce unintended pregnancies, especially among low-income women?
The exponential growth of Internet use has had a dramatic impact on our daily lives, mostly in positive and profitable ways. However, for women and girls online, the Internet can be an abusive and threatening arena, and not just from pervasive sexualization in media and advertising. Women are disproportionately victims of nonconsensual pornography (commonly referred to as “revenge porn”), graphic and verbal gender harassment such as rape and violence threats, unwanted sexual attention, cyber stalking, sexual coercion, and the luring of victims into offline commercial sexual exploitation. What role should federal and state law enforcement play in discouraging and deterring people from threatening other users online? What, if any, legal obligations should be placed on Internet and social media companies to better manage abuse among their users?
The full list of nine questions is here.
The Women’s Debate is a nonpartisan collective of concerned citizens. We are supported by a team of leaders in the fields of academia, corporate America, traditional and social media, entrepreneurial organizations, faith-based and non-profit associations. We are educators, experts, and citizens [...]