Tennessee rates poorly on women’s issues

Fourth Annual Statewide Women's Policy Conference Today at Westin Chattanooga

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – Hundreds of women and men met at the Westin Chattanooga to address policies that impact women in Tennessee.
“It’s important for women across the state to understand the policies that affect their lives, that are helpful and that get in the way of them leading their best lives and more important, we need to learn how to take responsibility for the policies,” says Chattanooga Councilperson Dr. Carol Berz who serves as Chair of the Mayor’s Council for Women.
The Mayor’s Council for Women was started by former Mayor Andy Berke in 2015. The council consists of three committees that work together to break down barriers women confront in our community and state. Topics like domestic violence, human trafficking, and sexual harassment are discussed.
“This is an education session that brings up all the issues. In the case of Chattanooga, we’re policy advisory to the mayor but we’re also policy advisor to the legislature and we also have good conversation amongst ourselves as to how we can make a difference,” says Berz.
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research in Washington conducts rigorous national research on these issues. They assign states a grade based on this data. Tennessee received D’s and D-‘s. “The thing is, things have not gotten that much better in Tennessee, so we’re still dealing with some of the same issues,” says Berz. In addition to serious policy discussion, there was opportunity to network and even shop vendors who sold popular items like makeup, flowers, and jewelry.
“I love being here. We’re a women owned business. And we love supporting women, empowering women, doing anything we can to make sure everyone is on the same playing field and getting issues for women brought into the spotlight,” says Becca Coleman who is the Chief Operating Officer of Joli Jardin, a Signal Mountain-based farm and florist.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News

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