WASHINGTON – Is that all?
Women have yet to maximize these “three most powerful words” of negotiation,said author Julianne Malveaux Wednesday at a Capitol Hill kick-off party for the Unfinished Business College Tour Series.
Malveaux,co-author of “Unfinished Business: A Democrat and a Republican Take on the10 Most Important Issues Women Face,” said she and Deborah Perry Piscione wrote the book to promote “passion for representation.”
The tour will travel to the universities of Miami and Chicago,publicist Jeff Rosenberg said. Visits to four other schools are tentatively scheduled,although the authors hope to arrange more university partnerships within the next year,he said.
Malveaux and women members of Congress attended the event,which was also billed as a discussion of the state of the union for women. They cited data showing that women still tend to earn less than men and said women might do better if they learned how to bargain for what they want.
Women in business tend to manage small businesses more than any other type,said Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite,R-Fla.,at the event sponsored by the Independent Women's Forum,the National Federation of Democratic Women and the Congressional Women's Caucus.
She said women business owners are more likely than male owners to offer flexible work schedules,tuition reimbursement and day care and to encourage employees to volunteer in the community.
For these reasons,Brown-Waite said,Congress should not only make last year's temporary tax cuts permanent,as President Bush proposed in his State of the Union speech,but should also repeal the estate tax.
“Issues like these are not Democratic,they're not Republican. They touch every single woman,” said Brown-Waite,who was a single mother of three children.
She joked that she became active in policy making when a pollster visited her home in New York,and she realized she could list only the “president's name and the name of my daughter's baby food.”
Brown-Waite challenged everyone in the room to mentor a young woman.
Rep. Louise Slaughter,D-N.Y.,has worked to improve women's and minorities' rights. She said many parts of society have failed to connect with the women who are most in need of health care and other basic needs.
“The burden on these women is something most of us don't understand,” Slaughter said.
Playing off of the title of the book that prompted the event,Slaughter said achieving social equality is an ongoing process.
“Thinking about unfinished business,” Slaughter said,“if there is anything you could do to describe the women's movement,it is unfinished business.”