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New York launches gender equality commission

Chirlane McCray (middle), the wife of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, will serve as honorary chair of a new Commission on Gender Equality. (UN Women/Jennifer S. Altman)

In New York City, gender equality is so central to governance that it now has its own office.

Last week, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the formation of a Commission on Gender Equality. Its goals are to expand opportunities for all New Yorkers — regardless of gender and sexual orientation — and eliminate discrimination citywide.

The commission will emphasize equality and safety for women and girls, the announcement says. Research would be conducted on intentional and unintended discrimination toward females. The public would be educated about gender issues. Recommendations would be made on strategies to improve women’s lives.

The mayor’s office notes that de Blasio has backed initiatives designed to promote parity. For example, the city has increased investments in domestic-violence response. It also has expanded paid sick leave to low-wage industries that employ women disproportionately.

First Lady Chirlane McCray is serving as “honorary chair” of the new office, which replaces a Commission on Women’s Issues established in 2002. The mayor’s executive order establishing the commission is available here

Office of NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio

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