Today, the 91st anniversary of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote, is Women's Equality Day. In recognition of Women's Equality Day on August 26, the anniversary of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote, and the anniversary of the 1963 civil rights march on Washington, the women's groups have launched the HERvotes effort with the release of a list of the top ten historic advances for women that are now at risk of being weakened, cut, or eliminated, including the Social Security Act, Medicare, Medicaid, Title X (the National Family Planning Program), and the Equal Pay Act. President Obama urged the nation to "celebrate the achievements of women and recommit ourselves to the goal of gender equality in this country."
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis remarked in a statement, "It has been a long journey, but each day brings America closer to the kind of true equality that our heroines like Susan B. Anthony and Alice Paul imagined for us when they led the fight for women's suffrage generations ago.Our accomplishments are undeniable, but the fight for full equality endures."
Currently, 23.5 percent of state legislators are women, but women are more likely to earn college degrees than men. Women are essential half of the US paid workforce. Moreover, according to the Department of Labor, the number of women in the workforce has more than doubled in the past four decades and businesses that are owned by women are growing at a rate of four times that of their male counterparts.
Media Resources: Statement of President Obama 8/25/11; Statement of Hilda Solis 8/25/11; Center for American Women and Politics 8/26/11; Reuters 8/26/11
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .