Loretto Connects with Cities for CEDAW
This past March Beth Blissman and I attended the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women gathering in New York. While Beth oversaw 67 Loretto students from some six U.S. locations to expose them to women worldwide, I met with the Cities for CEDAW (Commission on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women) leaders.
We met with representatives of cities that are implementing the expectations or standards set out to ensure that women in their communities are seeing the effects of municipal-driven policies and practices reducing discrimination against women and girls.
Seven cities or counties have CEDAW ordinances, 18 cities have resolutions and 36 are in the process of moving forward. Each city has a different path, and there is no one way. Key to success is starting where you have strength, connections and support.
Kansas City, Mo., where I reside, has been on this path for three years. The City Finance Committee April 11 authorized the gender analysis request for proposal to be developed, put out for bid and to be started by this Memorial Day. This will cover the entire workforce of the 8,000-plus employees. Conducting a gender study of the workforce is the first step.
The findings of the data will show areas of needed improvement. An oversight committee of women leaders will shape a plan and monitor its progress. The goal is to make systems change in municipal government in the ways they hire, pay and support employees, with a specific focus on women, minorities and LGBT staff. Seven of our 11 women’s organizations witnessed this action. Loretto is a member of the Women’s Equality Coalition.