2004 Original Language

Chapter 2: Social Justice
Section Title: Civil Rights and Equal Rights
Section Subtitle: Women’s Rights

Since the beginning of what we call civilization, when men’s dominance over women was firmly established until the present day, our history has been marred with oppression of and brutality to women. The Green Party deplores this system of male domination, known as patriarchy, in all its forms, both subtle and overt – from oppression, inequality, and discrimination to domestic violence, rape, trafficking and forced slavery. The change the world is crying for cannot occur unless women’s voices are heard. Democracy cannot work without equality for women that provides equal participation and representation. It took an extraordinary and ongoing fight over 72 years for Women to win the right to vote. However, the Equal Rights Amendment has still not been ratified.

We believe that equality should be a given, and that all Greens must work toward that end. We are committed to increasing participation of women in politics, government and leadership so they can change laws, make decisions, and create policy solutions that affect and will improve women’s lives, and we are building our party so that Greens can be elected to office to do this. In July 2002 the Women’s Caucus of the Green Party of the United States was founded to carry out the Party’s commitment to women.

We also support, and call on others to support, the many existing and ongoing efforts for women:

Social Equality

a. We support the equal application of the Constitution to all citizens, and therefore call for passage of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). We urge accelerated ratification by three or more of the remaining 15 states that are required to pass ERA into law and into the Constitution. We urge renewed efforts and campaigns to ratify the ERA. We support House Resolution 98, using the precedent of a three-state strategy for ratification.

b. We call for equal representation of women in Congress instead of the current 13%.

c. The Green Party calls for U.S. passage of CEDAW, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women, which was adopted in 1979 by the U.N. General Assembly and ratified by 173 countries. The U.S. is one of the very few countries, and the only industrialized nation, that have not ratified it.

d. The Equal Employment Opportunities Commission should actively investigate and prosecute sexual harassment complaints. Women who file complaints must not be persecuted and should be protected under federal and state law. We must enshrine in law the basic principle that women have the same rights as men, and promote gender equality and fairness in the work force to ensure that women receive equal pay for jobs of equal worth.

e. We support the inclusion of an equal number of women and men in peace talks and negotiations, not only because these efforts directly affect their lives and those of their husbands, children and families, but also because when women are involved, the negotiations are more successful.

Reproductive Rights

f. Women’s rights must be protected and expanded to guarantee each woman’s right as a full participant in society, free from sexual harassment, job discrimination or interference in the intensely personal choice about whether to have a child.

g. Women’s right to control their bodies is non-negotiable. It is essential that the option of a safe, legal abortion remains available. The “morning- after” pill must be affordable and easily accessible without a prescription, together with a government-sponsored public relations campaign to educate women about this form of contraception. Clinics must be accessible and must offer advice on contraception and the means for contraception; consultation about abortion and the performance of abortions, and; abortion regardless of age or marital status.

h. We endorse women’s right to use contraception and, when they choose, to have an abortion. This right cannot be limited to women’s age or marital status. Contraception and abortion must be included in all health insurance policies in the U.S., and any state government must be able to legally offer these services free of charge to women at the poverty level. Public health agencies operating abroad should be allowed to offer family planning, contraception, and abortion in all countries that ask for those services. We oppose our government’s habit of cutting family planning funds when those funds go to agencies in foreign countries that give out contraceptive devices, offer advice on abortion, and perform abortions.

i. We encourage women and men to prevent unwanted pregnancies. It is the inalienable right and duty of every woman to learn about her body and to be aware of the phases of her menstrual cycle, and it is the duty for every man to be aware of the functions and health of his and his partner’s bodies. This information is necessary for self determination, to make informed decisions, and to prevent unintended consequences. Unplanned conception takes control away from individuals and makes them subject to external controls. The “morning-after” pill and option of a safe and legal abortion need to remain available.

Economic Equality

j. Since, nationally, women still earn only 70% of men’s wages for equal jobs, the Green Party calls for the introduction and passage of federal and state laws to achieve pay equity, and funding for the enforcement of such laws.

k. Single mothers are the largest and most severely impoverished group in the United States, which explains why 25% of the children in our country live below the poverty line. Welfare reform has forced mothers to abandon their children to travel to minimum wage jobs. With the extreme pay inequity, single mothers cannot afford child care, nurture their children, and move out of poverty.

l. The Green Party supports real reforms to end poverty and return dignity and opportunity to all mothers. We call for implementing innovative programs that work with the particular and special needs of motherhood. We also support other programs such as a universal basic income (known also as a guaranteed income or Citizen Dividend, as described in True Cost Pricing and Tax Fairness ) that will provide for those who nurture the next generation – work that is of incalculable importance to our society.

Violence and Oppression

m. Language is often used as a weapon by those with power, and women have traditionally borne the brunt of inflicted injuries. Freedom of speech is vital to democracy. However, we believe that this freedom should not be used to perpetuate oppression and abuse.

n. Rape, domestic violence and other violence to women are increasing nationwide. We must address the root cause of all violence even as we specifically address violence to women. We cannot allow this to continue and call for increased funding for programs to address it.

o. The Green Party has zero tolerance for the illegal international trafficking in humans. Of the millions of humans trafficked worldwide, the large majority are women and children who are bought and sold as slaves and forced to labor against their will primarily in prostitution, but also in agriculture, sweat shops, domestic service and in other forms of servitude. According to Human Rights Watch, in all cases coercive tactics – including deception, fraud, intimidation, isolation, threat and use of physical force, or debt bondage – are used to control women. Figures from 2003 show 50,000 victims, both women and children, were trafficked to the U.S.

p. The Green Party supports all efforts to eradicate this extreme abuse of human rights, including but not limited to enforcement of existing laws and passage of tough new ones, punishing traffickers, aiding victims, increasing public awareness, reforming immigration laws, supporting existing programs and creating new ones.

q. We support the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report as an important document to begin to combat this abuse. We support and urge enforcement of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (HR 3244) signed into law on October 28, 2000. This Act authorizes funding for the prevention of trade in human beings and for protecting victims. It gives the State Department a historic opportunity to create an office with the exclusive responsibility of ending traffic in humans and protecting the victims of this world-wide trade. We urge committed political support to achieve the cooperation of all different levels of government.

2010 Proposed Language

Chapter 2: Social Justice
Section Title: Women’s Rights

Submitted by: Green Party of California

CA Contact: Marnie Glickman <marnie@greenchange.org>

Platform Committee Contacts:

AJ Segneri (IL) <aj.segneri@gmail.com>

Tim Mavrides (AZ) <tim_mavrides@yahoo.com>

Morgen D’Arc (Women’s Caucus) <morgen.darc@gmail.com>

Monte Letourneau (WI) <geanark@gmail.com>

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Section title: Women’s Rights

Our position: Greens support equal rights for women; a woman’s right to control her body shall not be compromised.

Greens are committed to feminism, social and economic equality for women, reproductive rights and ending gender-based violence and oppression. Democracy cannot work without equality for women that provides equal participation and representation. We are committed to increasing participation of women in politics, government and leadership so they can change laws, make decisions, and create policy solutions that affect and will improve women’s lives.

Greens deplore domination in all its forms — including sexism, patriarchy, oppression, inequality, discrimination and all forms of violence against women and girls including rape, trafficking, forced sex, slavery, prostitution, sexual harassment, verbal and emotional abuse and blackmail.

Green Solutions

Social Equality

1. Ratify the Equal Rights Amendment immediately.

2. Enact electoral system reforms like proportional representation and public financing of elections that lead to more equal representation of women in all levels of government.

3. Promote political equality of women in government and community leadership and gender-balance of leadership positions.

4. Provide access to equal education for women in the United States and across the globe.

5. Ensure that work places are free from sexual harassment and job discrimination.

6. Support public and non-profit programs to help mothers care for themselves and their families.

Economic Equality

1. Enact federal and state laws to achieve pay equity, and provide funding for the enforcement of such laws.

2. Enact reforms to end poverty and return dignity and opportunity to all mothers and their children.

3. Enact a guaranteed basic income that provides income for women who work in the home.

Reproductive Rights

1. Ensure that a woman’s right to control her own body shall never be compromised.

2. Ensure that women have the choice to have a safe, legal, affordable, accessible abortion regardless of age and marital status.

3. Support safe, legal, affordable, accessible contraception choices regardless of age and marital status.

4. Support contraception and abortion coverage in all health insurance policies.

5. Ensure that all health insurance policies cover family planning and reproductive health care, and the services are universally available.

Ending Violence and Oppression

1. Establish public education programs to address the root cause of all violence, including violence to women and girls.

2. Ratify the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women.

3. Put an immediate end to international and domestic trafficking in humans through stronger enforcement of existing laws, passage of tough new laws, increasing punishments to traffickers, improving aid to victims, increasing public awareness, improving law enforcement and reforming immigration laws.

4. Support the State Department’s annual Trafficking in Persons Report as an important document to begin to combat this abuse. We support and urge enforcement of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act (HR 3244) signed into law on October 28, 2000. We urge committed political support to achieve the cooperation of all different levels of government to end this crime.