Despite the progress already made in the struggle for gender equality, women still face violence, discrimination, and institutional barriers to equal participation in society. Gender bias continues to create significant barriers.  

Will you commit to using the full extent of your authority to enforce state and federal civil rights laws in order to address policies and practices that have a discriminatory impact on women and/or are based on sex stereotyping?  If so, how? If not, why?  


ERIKA HAROLD:

DID NOT RESPOND.


BUBBA HARSY:

I will commit to enforce state and federal civil rights laws in order to address policies and practices that have a discriminatory impact on women; I will also challenge the constitutionality of any laws that have a discriminatory impact on women as well.
Any complaints based on discriminatory practice for any reason would be thoroughly investigated and prosecuted accordingly. I do not believe in political witch-hunts, but when objective facts can be provided showing discrimination, they will be investigated and dealt with accordingly based on the results of the investigation.

KWAME RAOUL: 

Yes. I was proud to co-sponsor Illinois’ ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, as well as legislation to fight wage discrimination by prohibiting employers from asking about prospective hires’ past salaries. I have sponsored numerous pieces of legislation, including this year a bill of rights for sexual assault survivors, that help women get the resources and access to justice they need when dealing with domestic violent and sexual assault. I supported overhauling the way state government handles reports of sexual harassment so that women who come forward are taken seriously and protected from retaliation. I have opposed gender discrimination and inequity in areas from healthcare to the workplace.

One of my priorities will be strengthening and expanding the Workplace Rights Bureau and continuing to advocate for it to have independent investigatory authority over all types of labor law violations, including wage discrimination and refusal to make reasonable accommodations for pregnancy. I am also committed to the vigorous prosecution of sexual assault and domestic violence, and I will use the office to assist law enforcement and prosecutors across the state in going after criminals who target women, processing rape kits in a timely fashion and using best practices to interact with and empower survivors.

State and federal civil rights laws are a powerful tool for addressing gender discrimination and combating the inequities women and girls still face in many settings. As in other areas of civil rights, the Trump administration is seeking to erode these protections. For example, his Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, rescinded rules protecting students who report being sexually assaulted on campus. Reporting rape and reliving trauma in pursuit of a just resolution while staying in school is difficult enough without this new burden. As attorney general, I will take a public stance against the administration on this vital campus safety issue and will work with other state attorneys general to defend Title IX. I will also defend Illinois’ state-level protections, which I helped pass, of its college students.

Women have the right to participate equally in all spheres of life. I will use the position of attorney general to promptly investigate all complaints of sex discrimination and sexual harassment and to advocate for policies that promote full equality.


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