“On August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment was certified, securing for women the fundamental right to vote,” proclaimed President Obama. “The product of decades spent organizing, protesting, and agitating, it was a turning point on the long march toward equality for all, and it inspired generations of courageous women who took up this unfinished struggle in their own time. On the anniversary of this civil rights milestone, we honor the character and perseverance of America’s women and all those who work to make the same rights and opportunities possible for our daughters and sons.”
“In the 21st century, a mother should be able to raise her daughter and be her role model—showing her that with hard work, there are no limits to what she can accomplish,” continued Obama.
Just take a moment to think of all of the incredible achievement women have made in the last 94 years.
“On Women’s Equality Day, we continue the righteous work of building a society where women thrive, where every door is open to them, and their every dream can be realized,” concluded Obama.
No matter how far we have come, there is always work to be done.
“As we mark Women’s Equality Day, we must come together to close the wage gap and ensure that women and men receive equal pay for equal work,” said Congresswoman Annie Kuster. “All across the nation, women continue to make an average of 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. This doesn’t just hurt women, but hurts working Granite State families across New Hampshire. That’s why I urge my colleagues in Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, legislation to help put an end to wage discrimination based on gender.”
“In addition to this wage gap, women face family-unfriendly policies that negatively impact their careers and slow down economic success,” opined Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. “These barriers not only hold back women and their families, but also our economy. That’s why I support a women’s economic agenda – because we need policies that will give women a fair shot to succeed.”
“Women’s Equality Day is a call to action and a reminder that in the year 2014, there is still much work to be done toward achieving full equality for women,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen.
For more than two decades, Jeanne Shaheen has worked to make a difference for women in New Hampshire. As Governor, she strengthened the state’s equal pay law and in the U.S. Senate, she cosponsored both the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act to strengthen equal pay protections for women in the work place. She strongly supports increasing the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour to give a raise to thousands of working New Hampshire women who currently make up nearly 70% of the state’s minimum wage earners. Last month, she and her colleagues introduced the Not My Boss’s Business Act, which would reverse the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision and ensure that employers cannot deny their female employees access to basic health care, like contraception or mammograms.
Senator Shaheen took this as a golden opportunity to highlight the vast differences between herself and her main political opponent, Scott Brown. “There is a real choice in this election. I’m fighting for equal pay for equal work, to increase the minimum wage to give thousands of hardworking women get a raise, and to make sure women can make make their health care decisions with their doctors, not their employers. My Republican opponents don’t share those values.”
Former Massachusetts Senator, and now New Hampshire Senate candidate, Scott Brown, cosponsored the Blunt Amendment in the U.S. Senate, which would have allowed employers to deny women access to coverage for basic health services they opposed on moral grounds, such as contraception or mammograms. Scott Brown opposes increasing the minimum wage and voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have helped women fight to receive equal pay for equal work. Even Scott Brown’s own campaign co-chair noted that he was out of touch with ‘many, many, New Hampshire women’ on access to contraception coverage. And when a reporter tried to ask him about the recent Supreme Court Hobby Lobby decision he hid in the bathroom rather than discuss the topic.
This should be a wake up call for all women, young and old that we have yet to reach real equality. Take this day as a reminder to register to vote this year. It could have been your mother or your great-grandmother that had to fight for their right to vote. Honor them by registering, and exercising your Constitutional right to vote this November.