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January 25, 2022

The Reproductive Liberty Amendment (RLA) to the Vermont Constitution has passed in the Vermont Senate twice, in April 2019 and in April 2021, and in the Vermont House once in May 2019. The House will vote again soon. If the House passes the RLA again, Vermont voters will decide whether to adopt the Amendment on Election Day in November of this year.

On Wednesday, January 26th from 6:00 - 8:00 pm, the House Committee on Human Services will hold a public hearing.

Openings for two-minute in-person and Zoom testimony were on a first-come first-served basis and are now closed.  Written testimony can be submitted to testimony@leg.state.vt.us using the subject line, Proposal 5 Public Comment.

The RLA public hearing will be livestreamed on the House Committee on Human Services’ YouTube channel.

January 4, 2022

VCW launched a series of podcast conversations in 2021, continuing our decades-long practice of drawing Vermonter’s attention to the gender wage gap by marking Equal Pay Day. 

Our plans expanded beyond exclusively highlighting “all women’s” Equal Pay Day and we focused on multiple widely recognized Equal Pay Days throughout the year. 

Our (Un)Equal Pay Day podcast series examined the ways sexism, racism, homophobia, and ableism intersect, creating much larger wage gaps for women of color, women living with disabilities, and members of our LGBTQ+ community.  Another goal of this project was to listen to Vermonters about their experiences with pay inequity, how it impacts them, and what they think could help.

These lively conversations were hosted by our Commissioners and partners who generously gave of their time and talents to foster rich dialogue about pay equity.  We were incredibly fortunate to be joined by guests who approached this subject personally and professionally and with heart and soul:

Episode 5, Latina (Un)Equal Pay Day featured Marita Canedo, the Milk with Dignity Program Coordinator at Migrant Justice; Amanda Garcés, the Director of Policy, Education and Outreach at Vermont Human Rights Commission; and Drea Tremols, business owner of Soul Vibration Massage Therapy. Latina (Un)Equal Pay was moderated by VCW Co-chair, Commissioner Lisa Senecal.

Episode 4, Women Living with Disabilities (Un)Equal Pay Day featured Deborah Lisi-Baker, who served in leadership at UVM’s Center for Disability and Community Inclusion and as Executive Director for the Vermont Center for Independent Living; Winnie Looby, Ph.D., a UVM faculty member at the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion in the College of Education and Social Services; Cara Sachs, a Vermont Center for Independent Living Americans with Disabilities Act Advocate and a personal life coach; and Laura Siegel, the Vermont State Director of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deafblind Services. The Women Living with Disabilities (Un)Equal Pay podcast was moderated by Sarah Launderville, Executive Director of the Vermont Center for Independent Living.

Episode 3, LGBTQ + community (Un)Equal Pay Day featured HB Lozito, the Executive Director of Out in the Open, and Representative Taylor Small, the Pride Center of Vermont’s Director of Health and Wellness. LGBTQ + community (Un)Equal Pay Day was moderated by Commissioner Sarah Mell.

Episode 2, Women (and Mom) (Un)Equal Pay Day featured educator Lara Scott, the Director of Mobilization of Volunteer Efforts at Saint Michael’s College, and Sarah MacDonald, Assistant Director and a classroom educator at Colchester’s Early Learning Center.  The conversation was moderated by VCW Commissioner Kellie B. Campbell (EdD).

Episode 1, Asian American and Pacific Islander Women (Un)Equal Pay Day featured Bor Yang, director of the Vermont Human Rights Commission and Senator Kesha Ram. The conversation was moderated by VCW Co-chair, Commissioner Lisa Senecal.

Each episode is introduced by VCW Executive Director Cary Brown who sets the context and provides guest introductions. Find our (Un)Equal Pay Day podcast series on VCW’s channels on YouTube, Spotify, Google Podcast, or Apple Podcast.

December 16, 2021

(Montpelier) - The Vermont Commission on Women has just released Latina (Un)Equal Pay, the fifth in a series of podcast conversations examining the ways sexism, racism, homophobia, and ableism intersect, creating much larger wage gaps for women of color, women living with disabilities, and members of our LGBTQ+ community.

This conversation features Marita Canedo, the Milk with Dignity Program Coordinator at Migrant Justice; Amanda Garcés, the Director of Policy, Education and Outreach at Vermont Human Rights Commission; and Drea Tremols, business owner of Soul Vibration Massage Therapy. The guests contribute not only personal experience and reflection to this discussion but perspective from their work in justice, healing, and equity. The conversation is introduced by VCW Executive Director Cary Brown and moderated by VCW Co-chair Lisa Senecal.

Based on median earnings for full-time, year-round workers, Latina women are paid 57 cents for every dollar paid to white non-Hispanic men. Latina Equal Pay Day fell on October 21st of this year, a symbolic day illustrating the point into the current year, an extra 10 months, to which Latina women must work to earn as much money as white non-Hispanic men made in the year before, due to the gender wage gap. While Latinas are the group with the largest gender wage gap, they are far from monolithic: they are from a myriad of cultures and identities and can be of any race.

Watch this video podcast on YouTube with Spanish or English subtitles, or listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts

November 18, 2021

Sarah Launderville, Executive Director of the Vermont Center for Independent Living, moderates this dialogue with guests Deborah Lisi-Baker, Winnie Looby, Cara Sachs, and Laura Siegel in the new podcast in the Vermont Commission on Women’s (Un)Equal Pay Day series.

Introduced by VCW's Executive Director Cary Brown, this episode explores equity and employment through the lens of women with disabilities.  In addition to sharing personal experiences, each of the guests is engaged professionally in disability rights in Vermont and brings that expertise to this discussion.  Deborah Lisi-Baker was in leadership positions at UVM’s Center for Disability and Community Inclusion and as Executive Director for the Vermont Center for Independent Living.  Winnie Looby, Ph.D. is a UVM faculty member at the Center on Disability and Community Inclusion in the College of Education and Social Services.  Cara Sachs is a Vermont Center for Independent Living Americans with Disabilities Act Advocate and a personal life coach.  Laura Siegel is the Vermont State Director of Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deafblind Services.

Equal Pay Day is a symbolic day chosen to illustrate the point into the current year to which women must work to earn as much money as men made in the year before, due to the gender wage gap. With these video podcast conversations, VCW hopes to raise awareness about pay equity, and the ways racism, sexism, homophobia, and ableism intersect, creating much larger wage gaps for women of color, women living with disabilities, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. Another goal of the project is to listen to women about their experiences with pay inequity, how it impacts them, and what they think could help.

Watch this video podcast on YouTube, or listen on SoundCloud or Apple Podcasts.

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The Vermont Commission on Women (VCW) is an independent non-partisan state commission working to advance rights and opportunities for women and girls. Sixteen volunteer commissioners and representatives from organizations concerned with women's issues guide VCW's public education, coalition building, and advocacy efforts.

 

November 17, 2021

"Vermont should never be last in something like this again," Lisa Senecal insisted in August 2020. Senecal co-chairs the (VT) commission (on Women), which works to advance opportunities for women and girls. "Women's voices are important," Senecal said in that interview. "We are representing more than 50% of the population in our state, that does not have female representation at the federal level, and that really has to change.

Watch the full story at VT Rep. Peter Welch Running for US Senate (NECN, 11/22/21)

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