RISHI KUMAR FOR US CONGRESS

Empowering Women and Addressing Inequality

Two strong, intelligent, vibrant and empowered women have a huge hand in empowering me.

My wife, Seema, inspires me every day with her wisdom, her spirit, her beauty, and her accomplishments, both as a Senior Director of Product & Solutions Marketing for a global tech company, and as a scholar, who earned a master’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Columbia University. Without her love and support, I would not be able to take on the difficult challenge of running for Congress. Her leadership and innovation during this run, are a source of huge strength and a differentiator for our campaign team.

My mother, Shanta, had a tremendous impact on my life. As a child – and still to this day – I view my mother as the shining example of what I could aspire to be. She is the one who instilled the zeal of an activist in me, to be fearless and always stand strong for things that matter. When I look back to all her sacrifices, I find it amazing how she had the fortitude to do so. She has definitely defined me to the person I am today. Her rigor, passion, tenacity and courage are the tenets that I bring with me to my hi-tech job, the City Council and to everything I do in our community. I cannot thank her enough for all that she has done for me and for her grandchildren.

Now, as I run for Congress, I am dedicated to empowering ALL women and girls in our society, and to ensure they have every opportunity to fulfill their destinies and achieve their dreams, without being held back by discriminatory attitudes, laws and socio-economic structures. It’s simply unacceptable that in 2020, women still earn only .79 cents to every dollar a man makes.

It’s simply unacceptable that women still face dangerous impediments to their health and freedom. And it’s simply unacceptable that in 2020, our college students live in fear not only of campus predators, but of an administrative and judicial system that too often protects the criminals’ rights over those of their victims. When I see a problem, I want to go fix it. I am proud to be the only candidate in this race to stand against Brock Turner and call on Judge Persky to resign.

Here are a few more areas that need attention

  • Absence of laws mandating paid sick & parental leave. We need a federal law requiring employers to make reasonable accommodations to the needs of pregnant women such as they are required to make for employees with mental or physical disabilities and in connection with the religious beliefs or practices of their employees. To change this situation, a number of states and New York City have passed Pregnant Workers Fairness Acts. But a federal version has been repeatedly introduced, only to go nowhere.
  • Working mothers are expected to work after hours and over the weekend. There is no flexibility to WFH to care for sick children.
  • A report released in early 2014 revealed that U.S. women working in science, engineering, and technology were 45 percent more likely than their male peers to leave the industry within a year—and the reason was gender bias.
  • The higher in terms of faculty rank, salary, prestige, and status—the fewer are the women - For example, recent statistics show that only 26 percent of college presidents are women despite the fact that more than 57 percent of the college and university student population is female.

As our new Congressmember, I will do everything in my power to fight for equal rights, equal pay, and equal opportunities for all women – at school, in the workplace, in the courts, and throughout our society.