CONTACT: Elliot Imse, Director of Policy and Communications – 202.481.3773; [email protected]
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) announced the launch of a two-month effort to promote gender equality in the District, beginning with an advertising campaign that will appear in the Metro system starting today. The campaign aims to promote workplace fairness and protections for women, and will conclude with a TEDx salon conference on gender equality presented by TEDx MidAtlantic in partnership with OHR this November. The campaign is focusing on sex because it was the protected trait with the largest number of employment discrimination complaints filed with OHR in fiscal year 2014.
“Despite immense progress in the workplace and beyond, women continue to face inequalities when it comes to pay, promotions, and issues related to pregnancy and breastfeeding,” said OHR Director Mónica Palacio. “Fortunately in the District we have strong protections for women, and this campaign aims to ensure both women and employers are well aware of our civil rights laws and how they protect both women and men from discrimination.”
The campaign includes seven ads, with each featuring a different woman and the tagline: “Common sense says treat me equally in the workplace. If that fails, DC civil rights laws protect women.” The ads then reference protections provided by several civil rights laws enforced by OHR, including laws that prohibit discrimination based on sex, allow for breastfeeding in all circumstances, and require reasonable accommodations for pregnant women in the workplace. The ads also represent the diversity of District women, featuring individuals from various races and ethnicities, religions and gender identities.
OHR’s gender equality campaign is part of a larger effort by Mayor Muriel Bowser to ensure women have access to equal opportunities in the workplace. She has appointed women to prominent leadership positions in her cabinet, and staffed the Mayor’s Office on Women's Policy and Initiatives to serve as a liaison between public and private sectors and the administration. The Mayor has emphasized fair treatment of women in the workplace as an important piece in providing a pathway to the middle class for many families.
The OHR ads will appear in the Metro until November 5, and the TEDx salon conference on gender equality will take place in November. The gender equality ads and additional information can be found at ohr.dc.gov/page/genderequality.
About the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights
The District of Columbia Office of Human Rights (OHR) was established to eradicate discrimination, increase equal opportunity and protect human rights for persons who live in or visit the District of Columbia. The agency enforces local and federal human rights laws, including the DC Human Rights Act, by providing a legal process to those who believe they have been discriminated against. OHR also proactively enforces human rights in the District through Director’s Inquiries, which allow it to identify and investigate practices and policies that may be discriminatory.