Making an Impact for Women and Girls in New York

On August  2, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo launched the State’s first-ever Council on Women and Girls to recognize and advance women’s rights across New York State. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in New York State, the New York State Council on Women and Girls will work to affect statewide policies and make a positive impact on the lives of New York’s women and girls.

The Council will be made up of two parts: the leaders of New York State agencies, who will make sure that every policy enacted and each program created takes into account the experiences of women and girls and tries to further advance equality in our state; and a Steering Committee, comprised of leaders outside of State government from academia, advocacy, business, media, and the non-profit space who will inform and direct the Council’s work.

“New York remains committed to protecting women’s rights, and with the launch of the first-ever New York State Council on Women and Girls, we are sending a clear message to the nation and world that everyone deserves a chance to achieve the American Dream,” Governor Cuomo said. “Chaired by the Secretary to the Governor and housed in the Executive Chamber, this council sends a clear message that its mission – to take the rights of women and girls into account when drafting policy – is central to all the work accomplished in this State. I look forward to working with the Council and Steering Committee members to make a real and measurable impact on the lives of New York’s women and girls.”

“Governor Cuomo has been a natural leader in championing women’s rights. It is an honor to have the opportunity to contribute to the work of this important committee,” said EmblemHealth President and CEO Karen Ignagni. “I applaud the Governor for his leadership in protecting the people of our state and look forward to working with the distinguished members of the steering committee.”

The Council will focus on nine key areas of impact: Education, Economic Opportunity, Workforce Equity, Leadership, Child Care, Safety, STEM, Intersectionality, and Health Care. With regards to health care, the Council will work to ensure equitable, affordable health care and secure reproductive justice.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, there are more than 8 million women age 18 and older in New York State. Of those, 14 percent are below the poverty line, 18 percent report fair/poor health, and 39 percent report poor mental health. Taking into account other research from the Kaiser Family Foundation showing that women make approximately 80 percent of family health care choices, it’s clear that a strong commitment to the health and future of women and girls is critical to the well-being of every person living in New York State.

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