SAN DIEGO COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS APPROVES CREATION OF LOCAL ORDINANCE TO END DISCRIMINATION AGAINST WOMEN
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved an ordinance that will help address barriers and discrimination that women face in the county and will also begin the process of developing a gender equity strategy to implement the ordnance’s adoption. The initiative was co-docketed by Chair, Nathan Fletcher and Vice Chair Nora Vargas and was approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors (5-0).
The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) is an international bill of rights for women. Adopting a CEDAW ordinance is a feasible and effective way to achieve gender parity, decrease gender-based discrimination, and work towards the elimination of all acts of discrimination against women. Vice Chair Vargas understands firsthand the inequities that women face today in all levels of society.
“As the first Latina and woman of color to hold office in San Diego County as a member of the Board Supervisors, I am committed to building equity through systemic change and to elevating women at all levels.” said Nora Vargas, Vice Chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “Today’s vote is a major first step in breaking down long-time barriers so that women, girls, trans-women and female-identified people have opportunities to thrive in a society that is just and values their contributions.”
Chair Nathan Fletcher co-docketed the board letter and has been a strong champion of women’s rights.
“Discrimination in any form against any person is unacceptable. In San Diego County we are working to erase discriminatory activities from the societal norm,” said Nathan Fletcher, Chair, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “Today we took action to support women and girls by tackling discrimination against them. Even after years of progress, women continue to be targets of lower wages, fewer employment options, amongst other activities to lessen their value. We must do better, and our County is committed to doing better. I thank Vice Chair Nora Vargas for championing this cause and look forward to working with her to tackle discrimination.”
The approval of the board letter paves the way for the creation of an ordinance that will protect the rights of women and will direct the Chief Administrative Officer to:
1. Identify appropriate County staff from the Office of Equity and Racial Justice and other relevant departments to work with the San Diego County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls to draft a San Diego County CEDAW Ordinance for adoption and approval at the March 2, 2022, Board of Supervisors meeting.
2. Identify appropriate County staff from the Office of Equity and Racial Justice and other relevant departments to work with the San Diego County Commission on the Status of Women and Girls to begin the progress to conduct a gender equity strategy to help guide the implementation of this ordinance upon its adoption.
In California, girls graduate from high school at a higher rate than boys, and more women than men hold postsecondary degrees, yet occupations are still gendered in California and more men than women hold supervisor positions. California women earn less than men in all occupational categories, and in the highest paying jobs, women have fewer occupational opportunities than men. Overall, there are fewer women holding higher-paying jobs, and women are less likely than men to occupy leadership positions where critical decisions are made.