A Day for Celebration and Reform

By Mike Signer | March 8, 2011 | 2 Comments

Today is the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.  Everyone should take a moment to reflect on the importance of continuing to work for progress for women — in Virginia, the nation, and the world.

There’s no argument:  the Democratic Party is the party of progress for women.  We were extremely happy to announce the launch of the New Dominion Project two weeks ago at the Virginia Democratic Women‘s Caucus breakfast in Richmond with great Virginia leaders like Senator Louise Lucas, Senator Patsy Ticer, and my mom, former Virginia National Organization President Marj Signer.

I’ve been blessed to be surrounded by strong, independent, amazing women my whole life, including my mom and my three younger sisters.  Their simple existence — not to mention their careers, their relationships, and their strong (and almost always right) opinions — remind me every day of the stakes of progress on gender issues.

In the last centuries and decades, we’ve seen real progress on women’s rights and fairness.  But so much more remains to be done.

In 2008, for instance, Virginia was ranked one of the three worst states in the entire country for pay equity.  That has to be reformed.

On an average night in Virginia, over 300 children stay in domestic violence shelters.  This needs to change.

And just a few days ago, the radical right in the General Assembly passed a law that will circumvent the Constitution and try and prevent Virginian women’s access to family planning.

And we watch as women around the world make progress just as the odds are stacked against them.  I just watched a powerful movie called Kandahar that chronicled one woman’s struggle to travel from Iran through Taliban-era Afghanistan to find her sister in Kandahar.  The gut-churning plight of women and girls in Afghanistan then reminds us that for every step forward, there are evil people ready to take us two steps back.

This is a day at once for celebration and reflection — and for thanking all the women in your life for simply being who they are.

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2 Responses to A Day for Celebration and Reform

  1. I have been thinking all day of the work that still needs to be done, even on this 100th anniversary. That is about three generations of women and yet another one coming of age since this day of celebration was initiated. I hope that we can leave the world better for our daughters and granddaughters!

  2. Mike Signer says:

    Sarah, I couldn’t agree more… complacency is the biggest enemy of sustainable progress.

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