LatinaLista — Today is the 88th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment, granting women the right to vote. It’s also National Women’s Equality Day.
Even with all the progress that’s been accomplished by women and for women over the years, and on the heels of the first serious woman contender for the presidency of the United States — it’s common knowledge that women still have a long way to go.
Yet, some women are content with the rights and privileges they currently have and feel that nothing more is needed and everything has already been gained. These are women who choose to go through life with their “eyes wide shut.”
Otherwise, they might see a few things:
For one, the 2006 annual median earnings for a full-time, year-round working woman was $32,515; a full-time, year-round working man earned $42,261.
Strange that there should be such a discrepancy in earnings, especially when the rates of women (25-29) receiving their Bachelor’s degrees stand at 32% versus only 25% of men of the same age receiving their degrees.
And then there’s the issue of a woman’s right to reproductive healthcare.
On August 21, 2008, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released proposed regulations that could seriously undermine access to basic reproductive health services, including birth control and abortion.
The rule leaves open the possibility that based on religious beliefs institutions and individuals can deny women access to birth control. It also permits individuals to refuse to provide information and counseling about basic heath care services. And it expands existing laws by permitting a wider range of health care professionals to refuse to provide even referrals for abortions.
While it’s admirable for people to take a stand on principle and to fight for what they believe in, women’s reproductive rights have always been fought in the arenas of religion and male dominant circles, with no voice from women allowed. The surprising element is that women have been OK with those parameters in the ongoing debate.
Yet, this is the 21st Century and if women will ever reach parity with their male counterparts, it’s time that women be allowed to truly make decisions for themselves and not be subjected to a biasness that has nothing to do with the best interests of women, but rather an old-school notion that men know what’s better for women, than women know themselves.
The public has 30 days to let the Department of Health and Human Services know what they think about these new health regulations for women.
The American Civil Liberties Union has created an action alert to use to send to government officials your thoughts on the new regulations, as well as, a page explaining what these regulations mean to the average woman.
It’s not good nor does it sound like a policy that should be coming from a nation that just saw their first woman run for president.
Will it take another 88 years before real progress can be claimed for women’s rights?