Hartford Courant, Letter to the Editor

2/18/2011

The Courant has again shown its ignorance of the work of the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women [editorial, Feb. 15, “Last Agencies Standing?”]. It’s unfortunate that The Courant considers 51 percent of the state’s population a “special interest.” Even stranger is the suggestion that we should “be funded by [our] constituencies.” We are funded by our constituency, which consists of every Connecticut woman over 18.

Perhaps oddest of all is the recommendation that the governor “could have locked a few more doors.” Clearly, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy understands and respects Connecticut’s three-branched, check-and-balance system of government in a way The Courant does not.

The editorial did have one thing right: the use of the word “symbolism.” Eliminating a commission that has already seen a 59 percent reduction is just that: a symbol meant to placate those who continually call for our heads.

The PCSW’s $456,493 annual budget costs the taxpayers just 32 cents per woman, per year, in Connecticut. Thirty-two cents does not seem too high a price to pay for work that fights gender discrimination in wages, in workplace sexual harassment, in unlawful dismissal of pregnant women and in unfair health insurance rates, to name but a few aspects of our work.

If The Courant really wants to shed light on the consequences of the budget crisis, it should first understand that gender inequity affects not just women, but their families, too. And rather than drain the state’s coffers, as The Courant implies, the PCSW is a small price to pay for safeguarding women’s health, safety and economic security by continuing to help our leaders make informed decisions in tough times.

Teresa C. Younger, executive director, Permanent Commission on the Status of Women, Hartford

Original Article