U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi told a group of 150 attendees at a women's economic forum Saturday that they must join together to push for pay equity, work-life balance and benefits that equal the playing field for women and their families.
Pelosi joined Rosie Castro and Congressman Joaquin Castro for the event at the Young Women's Leadership Academy, where Castro told the audience that 100 percent of the girls in the senior class had been accepted to college.
"Women equally qualified with a male counterpart - same education, experience, training, qualifications and the rest, in many places women make 77 cents on the dollar," Pelosi said.
Pelosi spoke in support of immigration reform, saying that people who want to come to the U.S. have hope and ambition, and that they represent the same values that the founders had when America was first colonized.
Congressman Castro encouraged the women and girls at the meeting to reach out to elected officials at every level of government and speak out on issues that are important to them, and to find and get involved in an organization that works in one of their areas of interest.
Pelosi, who represents San Francisco and was the first female Speaker of the House, said the minimum wage needs to be raised. She said more than 60 percent of minimum wage earners are women, and that in a family of four, if the mother and father are both earning minimum wage, they are still at the poverty level.
Pelosi will appear in Houston on Tuesday with Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee for a conference called, "When Women Succeed - America Succeeds."