Martha Coakley Launches Women’s Leadership Council to Fight for Women’s Well-Being

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coakley_smBOSTON, Mass.—Attorney General Martha Coakley, candidate for governor, today launched a Women’s Leadership Council that will serve as a voice for women across the Commonwealth, focusing on the health, safety and economic well-being of all women.

“In 2014, it is unacceptable that we are taking steps backwards when it comes to a women’s access to safe and affordable health care, and women are still getting paid less than their male counterparts,” said Attorney General Coakley. “As Governor, I will stand for the health, the safety, and the economic well-being of the women of Massachusetts. I am proud to have the support of so many highly respected woman leaders, and I look forward to working with them in the coming months to discuss how we will make Massachusetts a national leader in advancing the rights of women.”

The Council held its first meeting Tuesday morning at the Boston office of NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts.

As the state’s first woman Attorney General, Coakley is the only candidate for governor with a proven track record of standing up for the rights of women.

She has been a voice of fairness for women throughout her career, defending the buffer zone on a national stage and protecting women and children from domestic violence during her time as Middlesex District Attorney. The Leadership Council will work to spread the message to voters throughout the Commonwealth of why Coakley is the only candidate for governor that will be a steadfast leader to advance women’s rights. [pullquote]Equal pay for equal work, because it is simply wrong that women in Massachusetts earn only 79 cents for every dollar men earn. Today, women are the primary source of income in 40 percent of families.[/pullquote]

Coakley launched her Women’s Leadership Council because of the urgent need to fight for:

  •  A woman’s right to access reproductive health care without the fear of harassment or intimidation, following the Supreme Court’s buffer zone ruling.
  • Requiring all employers that contract with the Commonwealth to offer employees insurance that covers contraceptive services, in response to last week’s ruling by the Supreme Court that puts the right of women to access affordable contraceptive services at risk.
  • Equal pay for equal work, because it is simply wrong that women in Massachusetts earn only 79 cents for every dollar men earn. Today, women are the primary source of income in 40 percent of families.
  • Leveling the playing field for women in low-wage jobs by providing earned sick time and working to guarantee paid family leave. While Massachusetts has recently taken steps to raise the minimum wage, two-thirds of minimum wage workers in Massachusetts are women, and many of those workers are depended on to provide for a family.
  • Working to give more women the opportunity for leadership positions in state government, as well as the private sector. The Boston Club released a report earlier this year stating that only 13.8 percent of the directors of Massachusetts’ 100 largest public companies are women, below the national average.
  • Developing better strategies to protect woman from sexual and domestic assault, especially on college campuses.
Martha Coakley’s Women’s Leadership Council Members:
  • State Representative Ann-Margaret Ferrante – Chair
  • Britte McBride – Former Deputy Chief of Staff, Attorney General’s Office – Chair
  • Megan Amundson – Executive Director, NARAL Pro-Choice Massachusetts
  • Elyse Cherry – CEO, Boston Community Capital, former Executive Director of MassEquality
  • Kara Coredini Esq. – Executive Director of MassEquality
  • Denise Cremins – Member of the Boston South Women’s Employment Network.
  • State Senator Eileen M. Donoghue
  • Andrea Kramer – Litigation Partner, Hirsch Roberts Weinstein LLP
  • Springfield City Councilor Zaida Luna
  • Honorable Therese Murray, President of Massachusetts State Senate
  • Georgia Murray – Principle, MMI LLC
  • Veronica Turner – Executive Vice President of 1199 SEIU Healthcare Workers East of Massachusetts
  • Gladys Vega – Executive Director, Chelsea Collaborative
  • Marty Walz – President and CEO of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts
Coakley’s advocacy for women’s health dates back to her time at Williams College, where she co-founded Williams Women, and spearheaded the first publication of the Williams Guide to Health and Sex. If she wins in November, Coakley would be the first women elected governor in Massachusetts history.
[From a News Release]