This day-long conference on Friday, April 15th was hosted by Vermont Law School's Women's Law Group, Law Students for Reproductive Justice and the Vermont Commission on Women. Sex, Race & Empowerment in the 21st Century offered an opportunity for participants to understand the impact of violence and the importance of providing legal and advocacy services to all survivors; and the importance of ensuring women's access to affordable and safe reproductive healthcare. Presenters included Cary Brown of the VCW, students and professors from VLS, staff from the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, The Pride Center of Vermont, Planned Parenthood of Northern New England, and many others!
Throughout the U.S., women's organizations observe Equal Pay Day each April, symbolizing how far into the new year the average American woman would have to work to earn what the average American man did in the previous year, due to the gender wage gap. Median annual income for women working full-time year-round in Vermont is $37,000. That's $7,000 less than the median annual salary earned by men. This translates to a 16% wage gap in Vermont.
VCW, BPW, League members observe as House passes Equal Pay Day resolution
Upon opening of the day’s legislative session, House concurrent resolution 338 designating April 12, 2016 as Equal Pay Day in Vermont was read. Lead sponsors were Representatives Burke, Gonzalez and Morris, and Senator Bray, and the reading was observed by advocates for equal pay dressed in red, symbolizing women being “in the red” due to the gender wage gap. Read the resolution here.
(L to R) Cary Brown, Governor Shumlin, Tiffany Bluemle, Desiree Cerretani, Meg Smith
At 11:00 a.m. Governor Peter Shumlin signed the Equal Pay Day proclamation in his ceremonial office. Read the proclmation here. This event included the presentation of a new report examining occupational segregation, the uneven distribution of labor across and within employment sectors by gender, its impact on women’s wages, and the link to Vermont’s economic vitality. This new report, “Where Vermont Women Work…and Why It Matters” was developed by Change The Story VT, an initiative of three statewide organizations with longstanding focus on women’s economic well-being: the Vermont Commission on Women, the Vermont Women’s Fund and Vermont Works for Women. Equal Pay Day speakers at the proclamation event wereTiffany Bluemle of Change The Story VT, Cary Brown of the Vermont Commission on Women, Desiree Cerretani, a young mechanical engineer at UTC Aerospace Systems, and Meg Smith of the Vermont Women’s Fund.
Another standing room only women’s history month event, this time at the Green Mountain Club! The pairing of Reidun Nuquist’s archival photos and stories brought to life the lives of women who hiked, built and now maintain the Long Trail. Very special thanks Vermont Historical Society, our history month event collaborative partner for many years, and to Vermont Public Radio, for offering a corresponding themed commentary series for history month for many years - links to the history month commentaries:
Photo: From September 1927. Taken by Will D. Chandler of St. Albans. 3 Musketeers Hikers: Catherine Robbins, Hilda M. Kurth, and Kathleen Norris. Courtesy: VHS.
Kathleen Norris, Catherine Robbins and Hilda M. Kurth, also known as “The Three Musketeers” were the first women to hike the Long Trail end-to-end in 1927. They became a national sensation and the most famous of many who have completed the country’s oldest long-distance footpath. "Women of the Long Trail" was FREE thanks to co-sponsors Cabot Creamery Cooperative, Denis, Ricker & Brown, and Vermont Mutual Insurance, and made extra special by a donation of ice cream from Ben and Jerry's. Read more about this event:
…from Vermont Historical Society
…from Green Mountain Club
…from Vermont Commission on Women
…from Seven Days
NEW LAW: PAID SICK DAYS
VCW's Commissioners, Advisors and staff watched from the House galley as Governor Shumlin signs into law Paid Sick Days on Wednesday, March 9th 2016. VCW provided testimony (see below) and support as a member of Vermont's Paid Sick Days Coalition.
VCW staff enjoyed participating as a resource fair presenter at this exciting second annual event. The Symposium was presented by the College's Women's Empowerment Initiative, which aims to cultivate confidence and courage by fostering the achievements of women. It strives to empower current and future leaders, and to provide learning, networking, and recognition opportunities for students, staff and faculty. Keynote speaker was Moni Basu, CNN Senior Reporter, preceded by an inspiring panel discussion and breakout sessions with Vermont women leaders, Rachael Arnold, Kate Wiliams, Rep. Diana Gonzalez, Christine Hallquist, and Linda Tarr-Whelan. Learn more here.