SAN FRANCISCO, May 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- It's Time Network (ITN), a national network of individuals and organizations working to advance gender equality, is calling upon mayors nationwide to prioritize women and girls in their leadership agenda.
Mayors committed to taking action now have a first-of-its-kind guide at their fingertips offering immediate access to specific recommendations, resources, models and best-practices nationwide. The Mayor's Guide: Accelerating Gender Equality – Strengthening Communities by Advancing Women and Girls will be released by ITN tomorrow 5/17 at an event in San Francisco's City Hall with leaders of local and national women's organizations and commissions.
This release coincides with increased efforts globally, nationally and locally to focus attention on the needs of women and girls including the upcoming Bay Area Women's Summit presented by Mayor Ed Lee of San Francisco and Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland, the White House sponsored United State of Women Summit on June 14th and the Women Deliver global conference in Denmark happening this week.
Despite vast gains for women in recent decades, significant gender inequality persists across the country. By focusing on gender equality, local governments can ensure that women and girls are fairly treated, represented in their cities, and that their communities thrive. For example, the wage gap extends across professions and hurts the entire economy. From construction workers to doctors, women make only 78% of their male counterparts' salary. For African-American and Latina women, the pay gap is even greater: the average African American woman earns only 64 cents and the average Latina only 55 cents compared to white men. It is estimated that improving gender parity will add millions to local economies and add $12 trillion to the global economy.
"It's time for cities across America to accelerate their efforts and take focused, practical actions to promote gender equality and enhance quality of life for all," said Betsy McKinney of It's Time Network, the Bay Area-based non-profit promoting gender equality through collaboration and collective action nationwide. "We want Mayors across the country to know that they will be supported and celebrated for elevating women and girls by a growing national network of organizations and individuals committed to gender equality and gender partnership."
It's Time Network also announced the launch of its national Network City Program as another support for local jurisdictions, with San Francisco as its first chapter. The Network City Program will support the implementation of recommendations in the Mayor's Guide and the needs of particular cities through a constellation of network cities that employ cross-sector collaboration.
"San Francisco is at the forefront of social change and women's equity and is the first City in the United States to offer fully paid parental leave for our working families," said Mayor Ed Lee. "We will make sure we continue our great work and do even more to ensure women and families succeed in the Bay Area and beyond."
San Francisco has been a leader nationwide in promoting gender equality at the local level. Many of the city's programs and practices are cited in the Mayors Guide as examples for other cities to emulate, including its becoming the first city in the world to adopt the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in 1988. In recent years, San Francisco has led the way in addressing the challenging issues of domestic violence and human trafficking and has supported cross-sector initiatives that support women in the workplace.
The Mayors Guide emerged from a roundtable event sponsored by It's Time Network, in partnership with the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, on the eve of last year's annual U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting. The roundtable engaged mayors, women leaders, and experts across a variety of sectors to highlight successful models and innovations in 11 issue areas affecting women and girls. These included economic security and wage gap equity, ending violence against women, STEM education, and many others.
It's Time Network seeks to fuel this innovation where it matters most in women's lives – at the local level – to drive equality forward with easy, practical access to these pockets of success.
According to Beverly Upton, Executive Director of the San Francisco Domestic Violence Consortium and Co-Chair of the San Francisco Family Violence Council, "This guide gives voice to the successful work we and others are doing so that it can be shared broadly and adopted quickly and effectively."
For more information or to download the guide and/or an overview of the top 11 ways cities can become more woman-and-girl friendly, visit itstimenetwork.org/mayors-guide.
To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/us-mayors-urged-to-do-more-to-support-women--girls-300269585.html
SOURCE It’s Time Network