Camden, SC. – Today, Sen. Vincent Sheheen released his plan of leadership for women in South Carolina, after recently launching a statewide series of roundtables to discuss the challenges that women and their families face in the Palmetto State.

Sen. Sheheen’s Women’s Agenda includes immediate steps that he will begin work on in the State Senate as well as action he would take as Governor of South Carolina to support equal pay for equal work, reduce violence against women, grow women-owned small businesses, and restore common sense and accountability to government through honest leadership.

Throughout the month of March, Sen. Sheheen is holding a series of roundtable discussions with women to discuss these policy initiatives and listen to their stories. The statewide roundtable tour kicked off in Spartanburg and Rock Hill on March 8th and will include stops in Columbia, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Greenville and Aiken over the next three weeks.

View Sen. Sheheen’s Women’s Agenda as well as his other ideas for how to improve leadership and accountability in South Carolina at His book, “The Right Way: Getting the Palmetto State Back on Track” is free and also available online, here.

Leadership & Accountability for South Carolina’s Women

Equal Pay for Equal Work. Women are a key part of our state economy and our businesses, and whole families suffer when women do not get paid equally to men. However, wage disparity is alive and well in South Carolina. Nationally, women earn only $0.77 for every $1.00 that a man makes. There is anecdotal evident that it’s in our state it’s even worse. So it’s time for action.

Vincent’s plan of action: 

  • Call for an audit to examine the wages currently being paid to South Carolina’s state employees based on position and gender, to determine if female state employees are being compensated equally with their male counterparts for equal work
  • As governor issue an Executive Order requiring state employees to be paid equally for equal work.
  • Ensure state government sets a good example for the private sector on pay equity.

Stop Violence Against Women.  Violence against women is at an unacceptable level in South Carolina. We rank first in the nation in the number of women killed annually by men, and the rape rate in the state is higher than the national average. Yet, Nikki Haley vetoed funding for rape crisis centers and even referred to abused women as a “special interest group.” It’s time to be proactive in working to stop violence against women, and ensure that our laws are strong enough to hold abusers accountable.

Vincent’s plan of action:

  • Expand Domestic Abuse definition to include teenage relationships and protect women under 18
  • Increase penalties for those convicted of domestic abuse.
  • Protect vital funding for rape crisis centers and women’s shelters to provide safe havens for women and children.
  • Work with faith-based and non-profit organizations to improve partnership with government and amplify efforts to prevent violence against women.

Support Women-Owned Small Businesses. South Carolina is close to last in the nation with the percent of businesses owned by women. But it’s not a lack of talent. So what’s the problem? Under Nikki Haley, women face significant challenges in opening and growing their businesses, and have unique barriers to achieving the American dream here in South Carolina.

Vincent’s plan of action:

  • Support small businesses in-state as much as those we recruit from out-of-state.
  • Remove the barriers women face in starting up a business in S.C. by creating a Division of Entrepreneurship and encouraging small business investment.
  • Fully fund our state’s technical college system and streamline worker-training programs to improve women’s access to education and technical skills.

Demand Common Sense & Accountability in Government.  Women and families have been repeatedly hurt by the incompetence in government over the past four years. Nikki Haley’s administration hid a TB outbreak at a public school for two months before letting mothers know their children were being exposed. She covered up the Dept. of Revenue hacking for 16 days and put parents and their children at risk of identity theft for the rest of their lives. People deserve a government that works and works for them. And when government doesn’t, they don’t need excuses, they deserve action and results.

Vincent’s plan of action:

  • Appoint a diverse group of qualified leaders, and demand accountability from them.
  • Fully fund his Taxpayer Protection Fund to help those who suffer financial loss from the hacking.
  • Increase diversity on college boards and in leadership positions around the state to better represent women.


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