BATON ROUGE – When a leading figure in the state Republican Party told a female candidate seeking his endorsement that “a woman’s place is in the kitchen,” he highlighted a growing gap between the state GOP and the women who make up over 53 percent of the state’s voters. Fellow Republicans were quick to jump to his defense, dismissing their female candidate’s outrage as meaningless and insisting such casual chauvinism is “just how people talk.”
That ingrained sexism and disregard for women voters translates into policy decisions for elected Republicans in the legislature, where GOP lawmakers have consistently opposed equal pay for equal work. Their refusal to pay women the same wages for the same work done by a man has left our state at the bottom of the national rankings for gender pay disparity. While the state GOP ignores their own female candidates like Jan Swift in District 45 in favor of less qualified men, state Democrats are fielding four times as many women candidates as the GOP for legislative races this fall.
“The failed record of the Louisiana GOP when it comes to supporting and respecting women voters is no joking matter,” said Sen. Karen Carter Peterson, chairwoman of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “When it comes to matters of substance, like their refusal to support equal pay for equal work, Louisiana Republicans make it clear that these comments really do represent their true feelings. That kind of outdated chauvinism is wrong for Louisiana families, and wrong for the women of our state.”