CHICAGO – (ENEWSPF)–August 26, 2016. Today, on the ninety-sixth anniversary of the 19th amendment, Representative Jan Schakowsky released the following statement commemorating Women’s Equality Day:
“Ninety-six years ago, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution was signed into law; the hard work and dedication of suffragettes and their supporters culminated in women earning the right to vote. Today we celebrate their work and accomplishments on Women’s Equality Day. Women’s Equality Day is a time to appreciate those who came before us, to celebrate those who stand with us now, and to inspire those who will carry the torch of women’s equality for generations to come.”
“Today is as much about celebrating the accomplishments that have brought us closer to women’s equality as it is about committing ourselves to solving the issues we have left to tackle. The fight for women’s equality has never been an easy one. Its history is fraught with examples of hard-fought battles and near-misses. In 1977, we came as close as we’ve ever been to passing the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), only to have the victory snatched away from us at the last moment. In 1973, Roe v. Wade granted women the right to make their own decisions about their reproductive health. In the last year, we have seen a renewed push to roll back women’s constitutional rights by restricting access to contraception and abortions. I remain fully committed to protecting a woman’s right to choose and continuing to push for the passage and implementation of the ERA.”
“The victory we celebrate today, obtaining the right to vote, was also hard-fought. Securing it required tireless work from millions of dedicated advocates who fought for decades until their historic milestone was reached. 100 years ago, women in America could not vote. Today, we have a woman running for President and have seen Nancy Pelosi serve as the first woman Speaker of the House. I am excited to pursue our cause further, and will work with House Democrats to ensure that gender inequality decreases as our economy grows.”
“Women in America still make only 79 cents for every dollar made by men. The pay gap becomes even more staggering for women of color. By the time the average woman reaches retirement age, she will have lost more than $400,000 due to the gender pay gap. To close the gender pay gap, we must pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, and because women account for nearly two-thirds of all minimum wage workers, we must raise wages. Since women tend to live longer, have less retirement savings, and statistically spend more on their medical care in the long term, another key focal point of the fight for women’s equality must be ensuring access to retirement security. Without a doubt, the best way to achieve this goal is to protect and expand Social Security and Medicare.”
“That women in this country still face structural, institutional, and societal barriers to full equality is not just a woman’s issue, it is a family and an economic issue. When over half of the country’s population is unable to realize their full potential, all of America suffers. In turn, when women succeed, America succeeds. On this Women’s Equality Day, I am excited to continue to work on implementing a policy agenda that benefits the country by focusing on women and families.”
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