We the (Young) People Bulletin: Women's History Month Recap
Dear YEO's --
We're excited to share the third episode of YEO's new podcast, We The (Young) People! This month's episode and bulletin are a recap our work during Women's History Month in March and highlights the work members like you are leading around the country to uplift and support women and girls. On the podcast we talked with DeSoto, Texas Councilwoman Candice Quarles about her thoughts on Women’s History Month and her paid family leave act, the first of its kind in north Texas. Check out the March edition of our We The (Young) People Podcast! Reminders: please send us the 5-10 bills you're most proud of for our upcoming Policy Exchange Database! Email email@example.com. Next month, we'll be discussing coronavirus-related policy, and working-from-home-related advice for our YEOs. Please send us any suggestions you may have for these topics if you have any insight.
--- Background on Women’s History Month
Women’s History Month has been celebrated every March since 1987. The 2020 theme is “Valiant Women of the Vote” and is paying homage to the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment.
International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th. This day of recognition is sponsored by the United Nations to celebrate the accomplishments of women around the world.
Even though it has been 100 years since women earned the right to vote in the United States, our government still has not reached parity. We have never had a woman president, and women only represent 25% of Congress and only 29% of statewide officials.
This is why YEO uplifts our women members by including a women’s caucus and women’s programming before National Convening. In fact, about 33% of all YEOs are women.
YEOs who have worked to uplift and empower women in their communities Young Elected Officials all over the United States are working to improve the lives of women in their own communities. Here are some examples based on policies you sent us:
Menstrual Equity - members are working to provide free and reduced menstrual care products by legislating and advocating for removing the pink tax on products and providing sanitary products in schools and public buildings: Nily Rozic (@nily - New York Assemblywoman, 25th District); Megan Hunt (@NebraskaMegan - Nebraska Legislature, District 8); Elizabeth Brown (@lizforus - Columbus Ohio City Council Member); Caitlin Quinn (https://www.facebook.com/caitlin4petaluma - Petaluma, California School Board Trustee)
Childcare - YEOs are creating legislation across the United States to make childcare affordable and accessible for all women: Katie Cristol (@kcristol - Arlington County Board Member, Virginia); Raumesh Akbari (@SenAkbari - Tennessee House of Representatives, District 19)
Redefining Sexual Exploitation - members are ensuring that women are safe from being exploited online and in-person: Megan Hunt (@NebraskaMegan - Nebraska Legislature, District 8); Ana Hernandez (@AnaHdzTX - Texas Senate, District 143) has introduced two sexual exploitation policies
Reproductive Rights - YEO women are working to ensure that women across the United States have access to abortions, healthcare during pregnancy, and ensuring that state and local governments are not preventing women from access to abortions: Megan Hunt (@NebraskaMegan - Nebraska Legislature, District 8); Alessandra Biaggi (@SenatorBiaggi - New York State Senate, District 3); Raumesh Akbari (@SenAkbari - Tennessee House of Representatives, District 19); Jheanelle Wilkins (@JheanelleW - Maryland State Delegate, District 20); Katrina Shankland (@RepShankland - Wisconson State Assembly, District 71(
Sexual Assault Legislation - members are redefining what sexual assault is, and are ensuring that victims are protected: Megan Hunt (@NebraskaMegan - Nebraska Legislature, District 8); Alessandra Biaggi (@SenatorBiaggi - New York State Senate, District 3); Mae Flexer (@MaeFlexer - Connecticut Senate, District 29); Ana Hernandez (@AnaHdzTX - Texas State Senate, District 143)
Domestic Violence Prevention - YEOs are working to ensure that women are safe from domestic violence and that if they are experiencing a domestic violence situation, they are offered support and care when they need it: Lauren Arthur (@LaurenArthurMO - Missouri State Senate, District 17) introduced two pieces of domestic violence prevention legislation
Other - Women’s issues span more than just the categories we outlined here, and the following are policies from more YEOs fighting for women’s rights: Ana Hernandez (@AnaHdzTX - Texas State Senate, District 143) introduced various bills to protect women
Talking Points and Additional Resources:
Women’s history is American history. The struggles that women have endured to fight for equal rights have informed the creation and development of democracy in the United States, but the fight is not over yet.
Menstrual products should be affordable or free for all women. Period Equity has worked with the American Civil Liberties Union to create a Legislative Toolkit for menstrual equity.
Maternal mortality has increased in the United States, and highlights the importance that every woman should have a safe space and the necessary support and health care to give birth and survive.
Feminism needs to be inclusive and intersectional in order to accommodate, legislate, and advocate for different, underrepresented identities.
Access to reproductive healthcare and access to affordable childcare is a necessity for women across the United States.
Elected officials of any race, age, and gender at any level of government can make changes in their community to support women.