The Middletown Eye


The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW) will bring together public policy experts and members of the general public to examine key issues facing women in Connecticut, including: women and the recession, family-friendly work policies and economic security. For the first hour of Women’s Day at the Capitol, participants will hear testimony from corporate and community leaders on the economic challenges women face. Speakers include an executive from General Electric (GE) Corporation, along with Dr. Stephanie Chambers, Associate Professor, Department of Political Science at Trinity College and Dr. David N. Cooper, Dean of Corporate and Continuing Education, Gateway Community College. During the second hour of the program, the public is invited to submit written or oral testimony on the broader issues they believe legislators should address now and in the future.

Also on Women’s Day at the Capitol, which will be held in the Legislative Office Building (Room 2B), the PCSW, an arm of the Connecticut General Assembly charged with studying all matters concerning women, will roll out its 2010 Legislative Agenda outlining the agency’s priorities for the new session. In addition, the Young Women’s Leadership Program, a project of the PCSW, will announce the winners of its annual essay contest, which this year asked high school seniors from throughout the state: “What is the most pressing issue facing young women today, and how do you see yourself having an impact on this issue?”

“While the recession so far has taken its greatest toll on men in terms of layoffs, there is mounting evidence the next wave of layoffs will affect women primarily,” said PCSW Executive Director Teresa C. Younger. “So our Women’s Day at the Capitol will take a deeper look at the practices that need to be re-evaluated, including the need for family-friendly work policies. Without policies to allow paid sick leave, flexible schedules and childcare subsidies, to name a few, not only women – but their families – suffer. Women remain the greatest untapped engine of economic growth, but are held back by workplace policies that too often make them choose between work (advancement, asset building and economic security) and their loves ones.”

About the Speakers

Stefanie Chambers, Ph.D.

Stephanie Chambers, Associate Professor at Trinity College in the Department of Political Science, has expertise in the fields of American politics, urban politics, urban education policy, race, ethnicity and gender. She holds a Ph.D. from Ohio State University and is author of Mayors and Schools: Minority Voices and Democratic Tensions in Urban Education (Temple University Press, 2006) and numerous articles. In October, 2008, she lectured on “Race and Gender in American Politics” at the Harriett Beecher Stowe Center. She will speak on “Women in the Recession.”

David N. Cooper, Ed.D.

As Dean of Corporate and Continuing Education at Gateway Community College in New Haven, Cooper leads the development of the college’s Center for a Sustainable Future (CSF), which brings together college and community stakeholders to provide training and education for alternative energy technologies and sustainable operations. Cooper, who taught at the University of Connecticut from 1977-1986, also served as a visiting Fulbright Professor at the National University of Mexico, where he focused on bi-lateral workforce issues. He holds an Ed.D. from Rutgers University. He will address the issue of what skills are needed for the changing labor landscape, including green jobs.

Members of the public are invited to submit or give oral testimony beginning at 11 a.m. Those interested in testifying should call (860) 240-0016 for more information.

About the PCSW: The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women was formed in 1973 under Sec. 46a of the Connecticut General Statutes to study “all matters concerning women, and in furtherance of that responsibility shall: (a) inform leaders of business, education, State and local governments and the communications media of the nature and scope of the problem of sex discrimination, with a view to enlisting their support in working toward improvement; (b) serve as a liaison between government and private interest groups concerned with services for women; (c) promote consideration of qualified women for all levels of government positions; (d) oversee coordination and assess programs and practices in all State agencies as they affect women.”

Original Article