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Statement on the Formation of The Committee of 51.3 Percent

June 13, 1976

As a candidate for President, I am fully committed to equality between men and women in every area of government and in every aspect of life. As President, I will live up to that commitment.

As perhaps you know, when I was Governor of Georgia, my wife and I worked for the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment in our state, and we were unsuccessful.

As President, I intend to see the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment

As a candidate for President, I will try to make it clear to the American people that, despite propaganda to the contrary, ERA is not an elitist issue, but a very basic matter of social justice that directly affects the personal and economic well-being of every woman in this country.

Let me state briefly some of the positions I will take as President on matters of special concern to women.

I will vigorously enforce laws prohibiting sex discrimination in hiring, job advancement, education, credit and housing.

I will support legislation to end sex discrimination in health and disability insurance.

I will act to end discrimination against women in the Social Security system and in our income taxes.

I will support legislation to provide improved child care services for working parents.

I will continue to oppose any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court decisions on abortion. I will support efforts to provide more part-time jobs, and flexible work schedules, to help families stay together.

I will appoint qualified women early in my administration and in substantial numbers. They will not be a few token positions at the top of my administration, but in jobs of importance throughout the government.

I will continue to be deeply concerned about those women who choose to stay home and devote themselves to their families. These women, faced with a rising divorce rate and the possibility of early widowhood, and often having no marketable job skill, are among the most vulnerable members of our society. A compassionate, government would give attention to their needs, and as one step in that direction I will support the Displaced Homemaker's Act, to give legal assistance and counseling to those who need help in finding work outside their.homes.

These are some of the steps I will take as President, not only to achieve simple equality, but to provide a government that is sensitive to the special problems women face.

Later in my campaign, I intend to devote an entire speech to outlining my views on women's issues.

Today, I am pleased to announce the formation of The Committee of 51.3 Percent.

This is a committee consisting of women elected officials and other women leaders who represent the women who make up 51.3 percent of our population.

The Committee of 51.3 Percent will have three basic purposes.

First, it will advise me on my campaign for President on how women can best and most fully be involved in it.

Second, it will advise me on the issues—not only such traditional "women's issues" as health and education, but on all issues—war and peace, the budget and the economy, and other matters of importance to the American people.

Third, this committee will assist me in seeking out well-qualified women to serve in my administration. I see no reason why women should comprise only 2 percent of the nearly 10,000 employees in the top three civil service grades, or why only three women have served in a Presidential Cabinet in our nation's history.

With the aid of this new committee, representing millions of American women, and serving as my advisers, my critics, and my talent scouts, I intend to make the fullest possible use of the women of America in helping carry out my program for America.

NOTE: Issued at Sea Island, Georgia.

Jimmy Carter, Statement on the Formation of The Committee of 51.3 Percent Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/347617

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