GENDER JUSTICE IN BUFFALO
Tell our elected leaders why Buffalo needs a new Gender Equality Ordinance!
On Tuesday, September 5, at 5:30pm, the Buffalo Common Council will hold a Special Legislative Hearing at City Hall to take public testimony on the need for a new law — the Buffalo CEDAW Ordinance — that would make proactively addressing gender discrimination a city policy and priority in Buffalo.
Come fill the Hall. We Need Your Testimony!
What is Cities for CEDAW–Buffalo?
Cities for CEDAW-Buffalo is a broad coalition of allied organizations and individuals committed to ensuring that the equity and equality principles enshrined in CEDAW – the UN Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women – are incorporated into city policy and decisionmaking in Buffalo, New York. We are working toward the adoption of a city ordinance – the Buffalo CEDAW Ordinance – that creates regular reporting and planning processes in city departments and agencies designed to ensure that all city policies, programs, and practices proactively address gender discrimination.
Why is a Buffalo CEDAW Ordinance Needed?
A CEDAW ordinance is deeply needed in Buffalo, a city in which gender inequality and gender-based violence is pervasive. Women in Buffalo suffer a massive wage gap (over $13,000 annually for full time workers), high rates of family and community violence, disproportionate poverty rates, and a startling lack of essential services. Despite majority status, they are grossly underrepresented in electoral office and city employment. As a City of Good Neighbors in the midst of an urban renaissance, Buffalo cannot afford to fail to decisively address these longstanding inequities. A CEDAW Ordinance will create a framework for regular data-keeping, transparent reporting, critical self-analysis, targeted policymaking, and participatory solution-finding that will help ensure continual progress in our city’s goal of ensuring equal opportunity for all.
What will a Buffalo CEDAW Ordinance do?
The Buffalo CEDAW Ordinance will require the city to do three primary things:
- Ensure a gender analysis of city operations (workforce, programs, budget) is undertaken annually by city departments and agencies on the people-based impacts of their policies and programs. Such analyses must collect and assess data intersectionally, i.e., according to sex, race, immigration status, parental status, language, sexual orientation, disability, age, gender identity, and other attributes. The results must serve as the basis for annual action plan designed to redress identified disparities.
- Ensure collected data is public and publically accessible. All collected data, reports, action plans, and responsible entities must be public and accessible to ensure transparency and accountability.
- Create an oversight body –the CEDAW Task Force — with training, monitoring, and reporting responsibilities to assist and oversee city agencies and departments in undertaking annual gender analyses and action plans. This Task Force will be composed of responsible city officials and independently-selected members of the community with demonstrated experience and expertise in women’s issues, such as health care, violence against women, racial justice, immigrant and refugee populations, labor and employment, and other issues of economic and social opportunity. It will have three primary roles:
- To assist city agencies and departments in undertaking annual gender analyses and action plans.
- To serve as a focal point for community-based and community-led problem-solving around gender violence and gender discrimination, by raising public awareness of the scope of gender inequities in the city and supporting community-driven solutions, e.g., through the holding of public hearings; collection of data, testimony and experiences from the public; public reporting.
- To report and make recommendations to the Mayor, Common Council, and public on a regular basis.
How can you support the Buffalo CEDAW Ordinance?
- Come to the Sept. 5 Public Hearing at City Hall: Tell our City Leaders Why Buffalo Needs this Law
- Prepare a Public Statement for the Hearing (2 minutes):
- What do City Leaders need to know about how gender discrimination and gender violence is experienced in and across our city’s diverse communities – in health care, employment, education, housing access, service delivery, policing, etc.
- What Experiences with Gender Inequity and Gender Violence have you had in Buffalo?
- What is your vision for the “new Buffalo” and how it should operate, with openness, transparency, participation, and accountability?
- Bring Friends, Family and Neighbors! Spread the word!