Reproductive rights advocates held demonstrations in Dublin, Warsaw, Seoul, and other cities. In France, in advance of the upcoming elections, protesters called for the wage gap to be closed. (It’s too bad that the woman running for President in that election is a racist demagogue a la our own.) Speaking of the Groper-in-Chief. Even in Hong Kong, a vigil was held against the Republican administration’s policies for International Women’s Day 2017.
In good news, Iceland’s government took IWD 2017 as an opportunity to announce a plan to eliminate the gender pay gap by 2022. Companies with 25 or more employees will need to prove that they do not pay anyone less based on race, sexuality or gender.
The long road to true equality in our own country seemed to get much longer on November 8th last year. However, already this year we have seen a huge uprising of activism around the United States. Including the massive Women’s March (which actually saw simultaneous demonstrations on all seven continents). The pressure must stay on. Today we’re highlighting upcoming opportunities to support women’s rights.
Support Education for All
In addition to supporting women-owned businesses (like Team Diva, naturally!) in the present. We need to be thinking about the future. Access to quality education is under assault nationally. The Republican administration is seeking to destroy the Department of Education and rely on voucher programs. There privilege the wealthy and use tax monies to support privately run schools that would never otherwise be accredited.
In Washington state, we’ve already had a fight on our hands, as our legislature has not determined how to fully fund education. Team Diva has partnered with nonprofit Washington’s Paramount Duty to help fund lobbying and grassroots activism. Fighting for a truly equitable education system in Washington state. National politics will make this fight even more essential and intense.
The stakes could not be higher for children and therefore the future of our economy and culture. Not that long ago, access to education was much more limited (and sexist) for women. Without a national policy that guarantees equal access to education, we can expect a lot more girls to be left behind by retrograde leaders who think women should have no choice but to stay at home, “barefoot and pregnant,” as the saying goes.
And speaking of choice…
Support Reproductive Rights
With our Give Like A Diva initiative this year, we are choosing various causes to support monetarily, and encourage others to do the same. Our inaugural cause is NARAL Pro-Choice Washington. The endless assault on reproductive rights will also intensify this year. It is, of course, primarily a healthcare concern. Healthcare as a whole is being submarined by the Republican congress.
There is no telling what will happen with the SCOTUS, either. All we know is that we are probably on the verge of seeing the most pitched fight for a woman’s right to choose since Roe v Wade in 1973.
NARAL Pro-Choice Washington is one of our region’s most active and effective pro-woman lobby organizations. Through legislation, education and grassroots organizing, we can send a message nationally through local action.
Naturally, we always encourage Divaland to support Planned Parenthood. A favorite target of Republican pundits and leaders. Planned Parenthood’s accessible healthcare services are absolutely essential for women nationwide. Especially lower-income women and families. Their STD screenings for men and women make for healthier communities and a healthier future for the country as a whole.
Donate and Celebrate
On International Women’s Day 2017, you can show your support for these organizations and the vital work they do. You can always donate to their coffers directly. In the case of NARAL, you can also buy a ticket for an upcoming party.
Team Diva is thrilled to be one of the sponsors of NARAL’s party Chocolates for Choice on March 15 at Fisher Pavilion in Seattle Center. From 6-8 PM you can nosh on locally made artisanal chocolates, sip cocktails, and meet others who are passionate about women’s rights. General admission tickets are just $50.
Take today to reflect on how you can support the women around you and look ahead to true equality in the future. There is a lot of work to be done, but we’re all up to the challenge. We have faith! #BeBoldForChange in 2017.