Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito And Others Support Mayor’s Gender Equity

May 11, 2016

CCCADI Gala     New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito   IOU_7934Executive Director of the Commission on Gender Equity Azadeh Khalili today announced the launch of the CGE website: nyc.gov/genderequity. The site will serve as a hub for New Yorkers to access information on the City’s gender equity initiatives and learn about the de Blasio Administration’s progress toward creating a more equitable city for female-identifying and gender non-conforming New Yorkers. 

“We want to create a city where every girl and woman is created equally and feels safe. The Commission is putting the full force of City government, the city’s largest employer, to work on behalf of our cause,” said First Lady Chirlane McCray, honorary co-Chair for the Commission on Gender Equity. “Our goal is to create long-term, systemic change. That means breaking down barriers and creating new opportunities for women who are too often ignored. I’m talking about women of all ethnicities who don’t make much money, women who are seniors, undocumented immigrant women, young women aging out of our foster care system, and lesbian and transgender New Yorkers. To achieve our mission, we need everyone to do his or her part.”

“Our women and girls deserve equal justice, access, and opportunity across every sector of social and civic life – from education and healthcare to public safety and the economy. To reach that goal, we must ensure that our City’s substantial gender equality efforts, including the Commission on Gender Equity and the Young Women’s Initiative, are readily accessible to the women and girls who need them most. Breaking down institutional barriers requires buy-in and investment from every corner of our city, and this online hub will help government better serve and connect with the New Yorkers across the five boroughs who want to join the fight,” said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

“Mayor de Blasio formed the Commission on Gender Equity to support the City’s strategies to increase gender equity for all New York’s women and girls regardless of race, ethnicity,  class, age, gender identity and sexual orientation,” said Azadeh Khalili, Executive Director of the Commission on Gender Equity. “The de Blasio Administration is committed to inclusive and effective government for all city residents – and the CGE website launching today will help New Yorkers track our progress, and find ways to get involved in the critical work underway to cultivate a city that values and supports women, girls, trans and gender non-confirming New Yorkers.”

“To move forward as a community, we must demand that persons of all genders have the opportunity to achieve their full potential in our civil society, particularly women, girls, transgender, and gender-nonconforming individuals,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “This website will not only provide access to critical resources but will also affirm that the City of New York stands with each of its constituent members, and that we will not allow historical disparities to continue in the Twenty-First Century.”

“As Chair of the Women’s Issues Committee and co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus, I applaud the de Blasio Administration for aggressively working towards creating a level playing field for our city’s women through the work of the Commission on Gender Equity,” said Council Member Laurie A. Cumbo, Chair of the Women’s Issues Committee and co-Chair of the Women’s Caucus. “The launch of a website is an extraordinary step to centralize vital information that will empower New Yorkers in their pursuit of higher education, entrepreneurship, and/or financial independence. It is an exciting time for the city to connect women, girls, transgender, and gender non-confirming New Yorkers with the opportunities and resources to support their ongoing economic, civic, and social development. Through the anticipated enactment of a bill that I introduced with Harlem Speaker Mark-Viverito, the Commission on Gender Equity will be codified to assess and address the inequities that have hindered the advancement of women. The progression of our city requires the full participation of its citizens. Through these measures, we can ensure that the role of women will continue to expand throughout our communities.”

“I commend the long-term commitment for systematic changes that Mayor Bill de Blasio and First Lady Chirlane McCray are making to advance New York City’s women and girls regardless of race, ethnicity, immigration status, class, age, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The Latino Commission on AIDS and the Hispanic Health Network support the mission of the New York City Commission on Gender Equity to dismantle institutional barriers in order to reduce and erase gender-based inequity,” said Guillermo Chacon, President of the Latino Commission on AIDS.

The Commission on Gender Equity was formed through Executive Order as part of Mayor de Blasio unprecedented commitment to improving New York City for women and girls regardless of race, ethnicity, class, age, gender identity and sexual orientation. The advisory body supports New York City agencies in dismantling institutional barriers for women and girls and helps them to achieve their commitment to reduce gender-based inequity by developing and supporting policies that promote opportunities for women and girls in all areas, including: employment, housing, childcare, education, health and reproductive justice, criminal justice and public safety.

The website features information about CGE’s mission, role and priorities; recent gains in the area of public policy for women, girls, transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers; statements and press releases; a contact page for New Yorkers to get in touch with the Commission; and an original video featuring First Lady and honorary co-Chair of the Commission on Gender Equity Chirlane McCray discussing how the city is committed to gender equity.

In the less than a year since formation, the Commission on Gender Equity has worked with City agencies and the Administration to advance the agenda of women, girls, transgender and gender non-conforming New Yorkers. Accomplishments to date include:

  • Creating an interagency working group to examine the factors that contribute to setting the wages of City employees and formulate sustainable policy solutions for any gender-based disparities that are found;
  • Framing the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as a woman’s issue and encouraging low income women and mothers to take advantage of more than 200 NYC Free Tax Prep sites and the Earned Income Tax Credit;
  • Helping to create first-ever maternal mental health services through ThriveNYC, a mental health initiative led by First Lady Chirlane McCray – including free maternal depression screenings and treatment for all pregnant women and new mothers at twenty four hospitals citywide;
  • Establishing the City’s Commission on Human Rights as the first human rights agency in any major U.S. city to certify U and T visas for immigrant victims of crime and human trafficking, which allow undocumented immigrant victims of crime and human trafficking to remain in the U.S. during an investigation and provides a pathway to legal permanent residence;
  • Supporting legislation mandating City facilities provide bathroom access to people consistent with their gender identity;
  • Banning all travel to the states of North Carolina and Mississippi to stand in support of LGBTQ communities facing discrimination at the hands of local elected officials;
  • Leading Citywide effort with the LGBT Center to train City employees on the cultural competencies of working with the transgender community. The certified training program is being implemented in partnership with the Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Citywide Administrative Services, and other agencies.

 Read about more of the de Blasio Administration’s victories for gender equity and current work to reduce gender-based inequity on the CGE website: nyc.gov/genderequity.

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