As outraged and offended as I am by the Trump presidency, I can only imagine how women must feel. Women have been discriminated against in the workplace for years, and made to feel unsafe because of our backwards views on domestic violence and sexual assault. Things are even worse now, as the ascendance of a man who brags about sexually assaulting women to the highest office in the land sends the message that it is ok to mistreat women. It breaks my heart.
At the same time, it has been inspiring to see women leading the charge to fight back against Trump and all the hate, discrimination, and misogyny he stands for. As more people are being awakened to the plight of women, I hope we can come out of this dark time ready to fight for the end to the mistreatment of women we have tolerated for too long. We need more female voices in politics, and I hope this is the start of a movement that finally breaks the stranglehold the old white male has had on this country’s politics since its inception.
I see many of the wrongs being perpetrated against women, but I also recognize that I will never truly understand women’s issues. I rely on the advice and insight of the women on my campaign team, and will continue to do so throughout my time in politics. Some of the issues I will champion if I am elected to represent the 6th District include:
Closing the gender pay gap - It is simply unacceptable that women continue to make only 72% as much as men for the same work. This ultimately amounts to discrimination against women, and therefore should not be tolerated. I support the Lilly Ledbetter Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act, both of which seek to prevent employers from discriminating against female employees.
Protecting reproductive rights - The government has no right to dictate a woman’s choices when it comes to her own body. I am proudly pro-choice, and would not support any Supreme Court nominee who sought to overturn Roe v. Wade. It is very disturbing to see Republicans’ reckless attempts to defund Planned Parenthood, which is the only option for care in many rural areas of the country. This all being said, I think it is important to remember that to many Republicans, abortion is the only issue that matters. Just as we don’t understand how they don’t see climate change as a problem, they don’t understand why we don’t see abortion as a problem. If we could meet them halfway and work together on preventing the unwanted pregnancies that often lead to difficult choices, we would remove a lot of their impulse to restrict access to safe abortions.
Expanding maternity and family leave - No woman should have to choose between caring for a loved one or losing her job, and neither should they have to go back to work immediately after having a baby. The United States is one of only four countries in the world that doesn’t guarantee paid maternity leave. Employers are only required to offer 12 weeks of unpaid leave, and only half of all workers are employed at a company subject to that regulation. We need to make sure all mothers (and fathers, for that matter) are guaranteed those 12 weeks of leave, and that they are paid for it.
Paid for and Authorized by Ryan Huffman for Congress