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Advocates, Lawmakers Push For Women's Economic Stability With Proposed Bills

Rima Shahid, executive director of Women4Change Indiana, leads a news conference highlighting bills for women's economic stability in the legislature.

Rima Shahid, executive director of Women4Change Indiana, leads a news conference highlighting bills for women's economic stability in the legislature. (Screenshot Zoom call)

Advocates for Hoosier women are pushing for a variety of legislative changes that would benefit women in the workforce. Their agenda includes job site accommodations for pregnant workers, equal pay, wage transparency and paid family and medical leave.

Women4Change Indiana hosted a news conference with legislators to highlight bills that promote economic stability for women. Several noted that Indiana historically has one of the worst gender pay gaps in the country and, during the pandemic, the need for family leave is greater than ever.

Rep. Carolyn Jackson (D-Hammond) said a bill she authored would make gender-based wage discrimination illegal, as well as prohibiting non-disclosure agreements about wages.

“If a woman suspects she is getting paid less, there should be no fear of retaliation to ask for her, or her colleagues, salaries,” she said.

READ MORE: How Do I Follow Indiana's Legislative Session? Here's Your Guide To Demystify The Process

Last year, a bill to compel employers to provide “reasonable accommodations” for pregnant workers made it through one chamber, but wasn’t included in the summer study session as expected.

Sen. Ron Alting (R-Lafayette) said he thinks that legislation could’ve gone further with the support of pro-life groups in Indiana. 

“What a shame that we did not get any help from them last session whatsoever,” he said. “Zero. I thought they were in business to promote the life of the unborn.” 

This year's bill has not yet been scheduled in committee.

Contact reporter Justin at jhicks@wvpe.org or follow him on Twitter at @Hicks_JustinM.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

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