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Deutchman Explores Women’s Equality Bill

Posted on Thursday, May 16, 2013

Professor of Political Science Iva Deutchman was interviewed recently for an article in the Democrat and Chronicle newspaper about the Women's Equality Act, written by Jessica Alaimo.

According to the article, "The Women's Equality Act is a 10-point plan spearheaded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that seeks to address pay equity, sexual harassment in the workplace, housing discrimination and other issues." It also notes that some of the provisions of the bill are controversial among different groups.

"Iva Deutchman, a political science professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, said lumping the 10 pieces of the act together will help the more controversial parts get passed," writes Alaimo.

"We're in New York state, and I don't think we have quite the same group of people who would oppose the bill, as say, we would have in Texas," Deutchman says.

Deutchman holds a Ph.D. and a master's degree in political science from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor's degree from Hofstra University in political science and economics. She is a professor of 20 plus years who has worked on two continents (Australia and North America). She has a long list of publications in major journals, the latest of which are "Electoral Challenges of Moderate Factions: Main Streeters and Blue Dogs, 1994- 2008," The Forum, Vol. 8: Iss2, Article 2 (2010) (with DeWayne Lucas); "Five Factions, Two Parties: Caucus Membership in the House of Representatives, 1994- 2002," Congress and the Presidency, 36:62-84, 2009 (with colleague DeWayne Lucas); and "Fundamentalist Christians, Raunch Culture and Post-industrial Capitalism," Journal of Religion and Popular Culture, Summer 2008.

She has been a senior lecturer and visiting scholar at the University of Melbourne numerous times. Deutchman's expertise in Australia has been cited in U.S.-based publications as well as in Australia in The Australian, The Age, Australian Time and Arena. Most recently, she taught a graduate course on "President Barack Obama and the World" at the University of Melbourne in Australia in 2010.

The full article follows.


Democrat and Chronicle
Some provisions may mean big fight for women's equality bill

Jessica Alaimo • May 15, 2013

At first blush, many parts of the Women's Equality Act may seem relatively harmless.

But as the details are getting parsed out, proponents acknowledge that some provisions of the bill could result in big fights.

The Women's Equality Act is a 10-point plan spearheaded by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that seeks to address pay equity, sexual harassment in the workplace, housing discrimination and other issues. Cuomo established regional coalitions to promote the bill, and three local leaders of the Finger Lakes group discussed the legislation with the Democrat and Chronicle Editorial Board on Wednesday.

The bill does many good things, said KaeLyn Rich, Genesee Valley Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. But if they were easy to accomplish, they would have been done by now.

Recently, Feminists Choosing Life of New York said they would oppose a clause that sought to move the state's abortion law from the penal code to the public health code. Since the language has not been written, they could only speculate what this would mean, but feared it would expand access to abortions.

This spurred people to ask if the abortion clause could be separated from the rest of the bill. Cuomo said no - the Women's Equality Act must be all inclusive.

"We are supporting the governor's agenda," said Jean Carroll, president of the YWCA of Rochester and Monroe County. "He came out with this, it's the governor's problem. He's going to have to resolve it."

Kathy Smith, director of advocacy for the Rochester League of Women Voters, agreed. "Many items in this are very controversial, and I believe the governor has decided to put it all together because that's his judgment," Smith said.

Iva Deutchman, a political science professor at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, said lumping the 10 pieces of the act together will help the more controversial parts get passed.

"We're in New York state, and I don't think we have quite the same group of people who would oppose the bill, as say, we would have in Texas," Deutchman said.

While the abortion clause is likely to get the most attention, it's not the only part of the act that stands to be controversial.

Another goal of the bill is to end "source of income" discrimination, which would mean landlords could not refuse to accept Section 8 or other housing subsidies.

Carroll sees this as a true need. The YWCA houses women who are trying to get back on their feet, but often they cannot find suitable housing that is affordable, in a good neighborhood and accommodating of these public assistance programs. Regardless of what happens in the Women's Equality Act, housing will continue to be a key issue for the League of Women Voters in coming years, Smith said. They are researching the issue and drafting policy papers.

However, Mary D'Alessandro, president of the New York State Coalition of Property Owners and Businesses, said landlords turn away assistance recipients because of the administration of the programs - not because of the people who use them. Landlords determine who to rent to based on their history.

"I do not rent to Section 8 because I don't find that the rules are fair. They do an inspection every year. I certainly am willing to take care of any problems in the apartment, but I'm not willing to take care of a tenant-damaged problem," she said.

She has had problems getting paid through the welfare system, hence her reluctance to take those tenants, she said.

D'Alessandro was surprised to hear this characterized as a women's issue. "Other people get Section 8 besides women," she said.

Carroll said it was because the majority of housing assistance recipients are women.

 

 

 


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