Women's Rights

Women have a right to absolute social and economic equality.

Long-standing patriarchal traditions have resulted in oppressive, exploitative and discriminatory treatment of women, effectively relegating them to second class status. Sustained action, guided by a strong feminist perspective, is needed to overcome this problem.
Important support for single-parent families, the overwhelming majority of which are headed by women, comes from federal assistance programs. Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) was replaced in 1996 with Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). TANF includes time limits and a lifetime assistance cap. It also allowed states to end funding for tracking and reporting of poverty levels. The time limits, combined with a softening economy, will leave large numbers of poverty-stricken families in dire straits. This will be difficult to prove, however, without adequate tracking and reporting.
The Green Party calls for equal gender rights:
Provide adequate health care for women. We need a greatly increased emphasis on women's health problems, including increased research, preventive measures and medical services. Form review boards to monitor the use of hysterectomies and C-sections, and discourage their overuse. Insurance programs must cover, at no additional cost, women's health problems, including breast and cervical cancer, AIDS, non-cosmetic elective surgery, pregnancy and coverage for disabled homemakers.
Establish equitable workplace rights for women. We must pass legislation which requires comparable pay for comparable work, expanded child care in the work place, and the prevention of gender-based job discrimination and sexual harassment.
Adopt a constitutional protection of equality for women, such as the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).
Provide education and training for judges, court and law enforcement personnel to handle cases of violence against women.
Adopt evidentiary rules so that opinions about past sexual behavior of an alleged victim are not admissible, nor should her clothes be admissible as evidence the offense was incited.
Acknowledge "battered women's syndrome" as a mitigating factor in the defense argument at murder trials.
Develop curricular materials, pedagogical methods and teacher training programs that promote non-sexist attitudes on the part of teachers and students. We support programs that hold the educational system accountable for supporting feminine rights, such as the ones legislated in Title IX, the Sex Equity in Education Act.
Promote educational programs to combat sexual objectification and exploitation of women in advertising.
Expand the legal definition of families to include non-traditional domestic arrangements. We should support men and women who make a career of homemaking.
Mandate treatment for all sex offenders. Assure confidentiality in handling complaints and legal procedures involving abused persons.
Increase support and funding for safe houses and other family violence prevention services.
Support affirmative action in selecting women for appointive offices. When qualified women candidates are available, they should be appointed in every branch and at every level of government until gender balance is achieved. The Green Party will actively recruit, promote and train women candidates for both elective and appointive offices. The Green Party's internal structure will also reflect this commitment. [see Affirmative Action and Proportional Representation planks.]
Recognize women's studies as a discipline in which women articulate their own reality through research and analysis. Universities should be mandated to support Women's Studies.
Remove the time limits and the lifetime cap in the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program. Provide mandatory reporting requirements to determine the effects of the program.