International Women’s Day

As women across the country demonstrate what it would be like for #ADayWithoutAWoman, we are reminded of the incredible contributions women make to our communities. Nearly a century ago, women fought for the right to vote. More than fifty years ago, women took control of their reproductive health care. And yet today, women are still demanding that our voices be heard. Women can’t get ahead until we have full access to health care, equal pay for equal work, and fair workplace policies.

On International Women’s Day, House Republicans took serious steps toward repealing the Affordable Care Act. The ACA has expanded access to free preventive services to 137 million Americans, including 55 million women. The ACA also made sure that being a woman is no longer a “pre-existing” condition by preventing insurance providers from charging women more than men. Today House Republicans are pushing through their proposal to defund Planned Parenthood, which provides cancer screenings, family planning services, and a host of other services that keep women healthy. Repeal of the ACA is an attack on women, and an attack on women’s health.

In 2017, white women still earn 78 cents for every dollar their male counter parts earn for equal work. And the gender wage gap disproportionally affects women of color. Black and Hispanic women earn 64 and 58 cents, respectively, for every dollar their male counterparts earn for equal work. These disparities have detrimental and long-lasting effects on working families as more women become the sole breadwinners for their households.  We must address the significant loopholes that allow for continued discrimination against women in the workforce.

There is still a lot of work to be done, and I join all of our colleagues who are committed to breaking down the barriers of discrimination that prevent women from getting ahead. It is past time for women earn equal pay for equal work. It’s my hope that - from today forward - we finally recognize the many contributions of women and the wide-ranging benefits that will come from full equality.