We are in the midst of Women’s History Month, March. It’s interesting to read the different statements issued by President and the Republican National Committee on Women’s History Month. On March 1, the President issued a Proclamation on Women’s History Month:
This month, we are reminded that even in America, freedom and justice have never come easily. As part of a centuries-old and ever-evolving movement, countless women have put their shoulder to the wheel of progress — activists who gathered at Seneca Falls and gave expression to a righteous cause; trailblazers who defied convention and shattered glass ceilings; millions who claimed control of their own bodies, voices, and lives. Together, they have pushed our Nation toward equality, liberation, and acceptance of women’s right — not only to choose their own destinies — but also to shape the futures of peoples and nations.
Through the grit and sacrifice of generations, American women and girls have gained greater opportunities and more representation than ever before. Yet they continue to face workplace discrimination, a higher risk of sexual assault, and an earnings gap that will cost the average woman hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of her working lifetime.
As to the plan going forward, here is what the President offers:
As women fight for their seats at the head of the table, my Administration offers our unwavering support. The first bill I signed as President was the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which made it easier for women to challenge pay discrimination. Under the Affordable Care Act, we banned insurance companies from charging women more because of their gender, and we continue to defend this law against those who would let women’s bosses influence their health care decisions. Last year, recognizing a storied history of patriotic and courageous service in our Armed Forces, the United States military opened ground combat units to women in uniform. We are also encouraging more girls to explore their passions for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics and taking action to create economic opportunities for women across the globe. Last fall, we finalized a rule to extend overtime and minimum wage protections to homecare workers, 90 percent of whom are women. And this January, I launched a White House task force to protect students from sexual assault.
The Republican Party is proud to have played a leading role in securing women’s right to vote. When Susan B. Anthony defied the law and voted in 1872, she proudly voted the Republican ticket. She and other suffragists worked with her friend Republican Senator A.A. Sargent to introduce the 19th Amendment. And it took a Republican Congress to finally pass it in 1919.
The Republican Party continues to uphold the principle of equal opportunity for all that has guided us from the very beginning. And as we celebrate the women of our party and country this month, we continue our fight for equal opportunity.
Republicans continue to offer a positive agenda for America’s women, as we work to create more job opportunities, lighten the tax burden, and reduce the cost of healthcare. Our policy goals are driven by the desire to do what’s best for women—not by scoring cynical political points.
These statements offers two different visions of what will be helpful for women. One focuses on intervention while the other focuses on opportunity. Which statement speaks to you? In NeW, our chapters celebrate how far women have come during Women’s History Month. I hope our chapter members are also thinking about what we want to accomplish for women that will be celebrated in the next 50 years.