by Karen Faulkner, Worthy News Correspondent
(Worthy News) – California lawmakers last month introduced a bill that would require large department stores to stop dividing toys and child-care products into girls’ and boys’ sections, the LA Times reports. If approved in its current committee stage, the bill will pass to the state Legislature for consideration.
Introduced on February 18, the bill was authored by Assemblyman Evan Low (D-Campbell), chairman of the Legislative LGBTQ Caucus, and Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia (D-Bell Gardens), leader of the Legislative Women’s Caucus. The bill would require department stores with over 500 employees to display toys and childcare items on undivided sales floors and without gender-specific signage. Stores could be fined $1000 for failing to correct a transgression within 30 days.
The bill was inspired by the 9-year-old daughter of one of Low’s staffers, who complained she had to go to boys’ sections of stores to find toys related to science and math, the LA Times reports. “In the state of California, where we hope to inspire, for example, more girls to get into science and engineering and mathematics, we want to ensure that those periodic tables and dinosaurs are not in the boys’ section,” Low explained in a statement.
Low also compared the bill to efforts to introduce gender-neutral bathrooms, ban retailers from overcharging on products for women, and require the presence of women on corporate boards, the LA Times said.
An earlier draft of the bill had sections pertaining to children’s clothing and some retailer’s websites, but these clauses have been removed, the LA Times reports.
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