On Women's Issues
There is no denying the complexity of the challenges women face. Confronting these conflicts is an incredibly important objective for me. My initiatives seek to empower women to have as many options as possible to make often difficult decisions easier, including those involving their careers, children, and families.
Shining a Light on Sexual Harassment
The demise of many prominent politicians because of multiple sexual harassment allegations is a clear indication of how the culture in several political circles has authorized and emboldened many officials to disrespect the autonomy of women. Such conduct highlights reality: the fact that these people do not sincerely view women as their equals. Instead of treating women as personal and intellectual equals, they are objectified and devalued.
Women in the workplace should be able to pursue their careers without fear of harassment, and I support cultural and legal changes being implemented to ensure due process for the accused.
Investigation for Sexual Harassment Claims
Avenues for reporting that enable and encourage immediate investigation and disclosure of whether the incident is “indicated”, or one that turns up potential evidence, as opposed to non-indicated which is unsubstantiated, is crucial. This is similar to current monitoring and reporting methods in child abuse claims. If there is an indicated report, then steps must quickly be taken to protect the victim. If numerous non-indicated reports have been filed, it is a sign that a more thorough investigation is required.
Every victim of sexual harassment should be have the chance to be heard, and in the manner in which that person feels the most comfortable. Special attention must be given to the resolution process on a case-by-case basis. In some instances, intervention and/or mediation may be all that’s required if an adequate argument shows that someone unintentionally made someone else uncomfortable. It is important to ensure people have an opportunity to learn from their mistakes without automatically losing their careers or facing public humiliation on the basis of a misunderstanding. Communication is critical, and sometimes these situations can be remedied by simply talking things over. People who are shown to habitually and/or intentionally commit harassment will have to answer for their misdeeds.
One of the most difficult obstacles for parents, especially single mothers, is navigating how their children are cared for while accommodating their work schedule. In addition to the cost of care being incredibly high, there is great concern regarding the availability of quality care. I will facilitate the creation of child gardens which are non-profit organizations that provide childcare. In this scenario, the non-profit will not be bound by nearly as many expensive requirements and regulations that current traditional childcare facilities are bound by. Of course, traditional childcare options will still be available for those who prefer it.
This arrangement works especially well for lower-income families and/or those in which parent(s) only work part time or have a non-typical schedule. On an off day, the parent could volunteer to help watch the other parents’ children at the child garden and while being able to bring their own kids along. This allows parents to spend time with their own children while also helping meet the care needs of other parents in their communities.
These low cost, and, in many cases, free child gardens will make going to work more affordable for women and offer them greater flexibility in pursuing the career they have chosen. Long career pauses that have often hindered career prospects in the long-run will no longer be necessary. Additionally, women will have the freedom to return to work when they are ready.
Women's Bodily Autonomy
While I am personally against abortion, I also recognize that such a judgment is not the responsibility of the state or its leadership. Instead, I will ensure that alternatives to abortion are more readily available by working toward easy and affordable access to over-the-counter birth control so that women will no longer have to go to a doctor to get birth control. If women want insurance to cover the medicine, they will be able to receive a prescription from any pharmacist, following a brief evaluation.
The barriers to gaining access to birth control, including making an appointment and the costs that may be associated with the appointment, will be eliminated. Under this plan, the women of Texas will have increased control over their reproductive health and greater flexibility in family planning.
I will also ensure that other conception-related options, like adoption and surrogacy, are more accessible and affordable for the women and families who wish to utilize them. Additionally, critical education and information regarding those options should be readily available. My goal is to achieve a Texas where there will fewer abortions needed (or wanted) as a result of the increased focus on non-abortion options. Most importantly, there will be zero involvement on the part of the government in making such decisions.