HARTFORD, CT - Governor Ned Lamont on Friday announced the launch of the Governor’s Council on Women and Girls to provide a coordinated state response to issues that impact the lives of women and girls, their families, and the State of Connecticut.
The council, chaired by Lt. Governor Susan Bysiewicz, will be housed within the Office of the Governor, emphasizing the centrality of its work to the overall goals of the administration. Office of Policy and Management (OPM) Secretary Melissa McCaw will serve as the council’s vice chair.
“It’s true that women’s right are human rights. Honoring that reality here in Connecticut is not only the right thing to do, it’s the smart thing to do,” Governor Lamont said. “That’s why I am proud to launch the first-ever Council on Women and Girls in our state to deliver on our administration’s commitment to gender equality and opportunity. With this council, we can ensure that women and girls have every opportunity to determine their future and make a good living for themselves and their families. I want to thank Lt. Governor Bysiewicz and Secretary McCaw for leading this council.”
“I am honored serve as chair of this critical council and I look forward to working with leaders from across state government to ensure that every program and policy we implement is created with women and girls in mind,” Lt. Governor Bysiewicz said. “At their core, women’s issues are economic issues. In order to secure Connecticut’s economy and grow jobs, we must enact a family medical leave policy, raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour, and ensure equal pay for equal work. Our administration is actively examining steps that we can take administratively to ensure that Connecticut’s government makes good on its commitment to women and girls.”
The Governor’s Council on Women and Girls was one of the recommendations made by the Lamont-Bysiewicz Transition Policy Committee on Women’s Issues. It will collaborate closely with civil society and the private sector, as well as the General Assembly’s Commission on Women, Children, and Seniors, to better understand and address barriers to women’s and girl’s success.
The council will be comprised of the heads of each state agency, the constitutional officers, and a representative from each of the four legislative caucuses. Its mission is to ensure that women and girls, and the multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination that too many of them face, are taken into account whenever state policies are developed and programs are created. The commissioners will also conduct a review and update of their agency’s current policies and programs to ensure they take the needs of women and girls into account.
The council is charged with focusing on four areas of impact: education and STEAM; economic opportunity and workforce equity; leadership; and health and safety. Subcommittees, composed of the relevant commissioners and focused on those core areas, will convene in advance of every council meeting to foster collaboration and breakdown silos between agencies.
The council is also tasked with recommending to Governor Lamont legislative proposals or changes to state policies or programs that would address issues of special importance to women and girls, as well as changes to state policies that have a distinct impact on women in the state workforce.