Women’s Rights

Chris Kennedy supports equal rights for women. He believes in equal pay for equal work, supports paid family and medical leave, the fight for $15, freedom from violence and sexual harassment, and full access to medical care for women, which should include everything from cancer screenings to prenatal care and a woman’s right to choose. As governor, Chris would sign HB40, which protects access to abortion in Illinois, even if the U.S. Supreme Court overthrows Roe v. Wade.

Women–especially middle-class and low-income women–have suffered because of Governor Rauner’s discriminatory, irresponsible budget cuts over the last two years. Chris vows to reverse these damaging measures that turned women away from shelters for domestic violence; cut the wages of nurses and home healthcare workers, the majority of whom are underpaid women; prevented women from receiving cervical and breast cancer screenings; and increased the number of homeless women and youth on the streets.

Chris believes that our government has a responsibility to do everything in our power to protect all citizens. For many women, that means providing services that ensure they are safe from domestic violence while treating domestic violence as a public health and public safety issue. More than half of mass shootings in the U.S. are precipitated by domestic or family violence, and the majority of female homicide victims are killed by their husbands or partners. When women are unsafe, so is our society.
As governor, Chris will restore funding to social service agencies that provide support to women who are victims of domestic violence, and he will call on law enforcement to partner with social workers and together, work to devise better interventions for women who are victims of abuse as well as for their perpetrators.

Chris also understands that gaining rights and protections does not guarantee women access to the same opportunities as men. He believes that as we fight to advance women’s rights, we also must work to unwind entrenched biases that feed discriminatory practices and behavior, and allow for unjust policies to go unchallenged. As governor, Chris would adopt a similar measure to that of California, Connecticut, and Maine, which would require businesses small and large to provide 2 hours of sexual harassment training.