Philadelphia, March 26, 2015 – Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed a City Council ordinance sponsored by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown that authorizes a ballot question regarding the establishment of a Commission for Women in the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter. The question will appear on the May 19th primary election ballot.
“A Commission for Women would provide guidance about how we as a city can address structural inequities that leave women, and therefore their families, at a socioeconomic disadvantage that continues to threaten this city’s potential,” said Mayor Nutter. “My administration has taken steps to level the playing field for women in Philadelphia, including legislation requiring employers to accommodate women needing to express breast milk, one of the most progressive municipal parental leave policies in the country and a pregnancy accommodation ordinance. Clearly, there is more that must be done. I welcome this change to the City’s Home Rule Charter and look forward to working with Councilwoman Reynolds Brown to select members for this Commission should the voters approve it, which I fully expect.”
The question which will appear on the ballot for voters to answer is as follows:
Shall the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to provide for the creation of a Commission for Women to be charged with promoting civic, educational and economic policies for women and providing advice and recommendations to the Mayor and City Council on policies and programs that advance equal rights and opportunities for women in the City?
“This is an historic opportunity to bring women to the table of City government in an official capacity,” said Councilwoman Reynolds Brown. “Women continue to earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men in this Nation. And despite representing 52.8 percent of the City population, women occupy only 11 percent of corporate board seats in Philadelphia, and women of color represent less than one percent. In 2015, those numbers are embarrassing and unacceptable. Government must lead by example. As a world-class city, in which ‘liberty and justice for all’ was born, Philadelphia should not only have a Commission for Women; we should have the flagship Commission for Women and be considered a national thought leader on the topic of gender equality.”