Bringing women’s issues to the fore in the Utah legislature

The Utah Women’s Coalition is an organization formed to address some of the injustices and disadvantages that women in Utah face. During the current session, last Thursday on Capitol Hill the coalition showed its support for 17 different pieces of legislation.

On KVNU’s For the People program last Thursday, Stephanie Pitcher said the organization grew out of frustration about the lack of debate or even addressing of women’s issues.

“We started in 2015 and it kind of started as a result of an issue involving breast feeding. I was up there and looking at how we could advance this one proposal and noticed there wasn’t a lot of collective action or collaboration on women’s issues,” she said.

“But there were certainly groups in Utah that were working on issues that women support. There just didn’t seem to be a lot of collaboration…so that’s kind of how things were born.”

Pitcher said one of the bills her organization has been behind has to do with workplace discrimination. She said in Utah if you work for an employer with less than 15 employees you have no legal remedy if you get fired for getting pregnant, for example.

“We see that as kind of an ambiguous number to cap it at 15. There’s really no reasonable explanation for any amount of workplace discrimination being permitted here in Utah. We are such a family-friendly state and so this proposal that we’re working on would lower that 15 employee threshold and take it down to one and basically would provide anybody in the workplace with those same typed of legal protections.”

In getting their message heard, Pitcher said it’s important how that message is phrased to help people see that these inequities don’t just affect women but the entire family as well. For more information on the coalition visit <a href=”http://www.UtahWomensCoalition.org” target=”_blank”>UtahWomensCoalition.org</a>.

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