Testifying for equality: A rationale for a Commission for Women

PHILADELPHIA – PCHR Executive Director Rue Landau was one of host of voices rising in favor of a proposal to institute a Philadelphia Commission for Women at a hearing in City Council on Wednesday.

PCHR Executive Director Rue Landau delivers testimony during a hearing by City Council's committee on law and government.

PCHR Executive Director Rue Landau delivers testimony during a hearing by City Council’s committee on law and government.

Designed by City Councilwomen Blondell Reynolds Brown and Marian B. Tasco, the unpaid commission would study concerns and advance initiatives to help level the playing field for women and girls in the city.  A set of legislation originally authored last year is winding its way through City Council and toward Mayor Nutter’s desk.

Resolution No. 140244 would amend the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter to establish the commission permanently, with Bill No. 140230 allowing the idea to be put before the voters – perhaps as soon as during this spring’s primary elections.

“Addressing . . . rapidly unfolding scenarios smartly and effectively could be the work of a Commission for Women, because evaluating policies that come with rising immigration or shifting employment sectors, for instance, would help alleviate the persistent and growing poverty Philadelphia currently faces,” Landau told members of City Council’s Committee on Law and Government.

“Be it by ballot or executive order, creating this commission poses to be a benefit. It could lead toward greater equality by offering research-based perspectives to City Council and future mayoral administrations to better inform decisions by both.

“That’s a win-win situation.”

Read the full testimony here: pchr_testimony_comm4women_021815.

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