Buttigieg releases plan to build power for women

Buttigieg releases plan to build power for women
© Greg Nash

White House hopeful Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegReuters poll finds Sanders cutting Biden national lead to single digits Biden says he'll adopt plans from Sanders, Warren Buttigieg guest-hosts for Jimmy Kimmel: 'I've got nothing else going on' MORE unveiled a new plan Thursday that he says would boost women’s economic, political and social empowerment.

“Progress for women has come despite systemic sexism and racism, and persistent gender bias. And now, with women’s rights under assault, we can’t wait any longer to ensure women have the power they deserve,” Buttigieg said in a press release. “Women’s freedom can’t depend on Washington — it can only come from systematically building women’s power in our economy, our political system, and in every part of our society.” 

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The South Bend, Ind., mayor’s multipronged platform promises to address the gender pay gap and workplace discrimination and support women-owned businesses.

Buttigieg says he will increase transparency on the gender pay gap by making such inequities between men and women at every large corporation public information.

“Transparency puts power in the hands of women as they make decisions about where to work and salary negotiations. It also puts pressure on companies to hire, promote, retain, and pay women equally,” the plan says. 

Buttigieg also plans on investing $10 billion to end workplace sexual harassment and discrimination against women. His plan would also ban forced arbitration and nondisclosure clauses, treat workplace violence as a safety issue and double funding to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to enable it to fully investigate claims and address potential employment discrimination patterns.

A Buttigieg administration would also work to expand access to capital for female entrepreneurs to help “kickstart business growth to generate returns for women and their communities.”

The Indiana Democrat expanded on his plan in an Essence op-ed in which he touted the proposal’s benefits for black women in particular.

Buttigieg said his plan would work to “create safe and inclusive communities for Black women, especially Black trans women” and committed to crafting a “gender- and racially-diverse Cabinet and making judicial nominations that are at least 50 percent women.” 

“Oppression is not a setback to push through — it’s a system to be torn down. Racist and sexist policies were put in place intentionally — often the result of policies enacted within living memory — and we must be equally intentional about dismantling them,” Buttigieg wrote.

The Essence op-ed comes Buttigieg continues to face scrutiny over the police shooting of a black man in South Bend. 

The Indiana mayor has enjoyed a surge of attention following a strong debate performance last week in which he criticized proposals from progressive candidates while seeking to cast himself as a moderate alternative.