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                  FEATURE  | winter 2008 
                      
                    
                    In this spirit, the editors of Ms. magazine have
asked our 
                      readers and feminist leaders, experts and
activists to share 
                      their visions of what must be done to move
forward at this 
                      extraordinary time. What follows is a sampling
of what’s on 
                    their minds and in their hearts.
                    Please add your Visions for Change here! | 
Visions of the Day | Readers' Visions
                    
                    CEMENT EQUAL RIGHTS. Establishing a Cabinet level

                      Office on Women would be a good start, followed

                      by appointment of judges who will ensure and
protect 
                      women’s rights. President Obama can
reignite the call 
                      to pass the ERA, and thus include women in the
U.S. 
                      Constitution, and he should urge the Senate to
ratify 
                      the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All
Forms 
                      of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) without

                    weakening amendments (see page 12). 
                    —KIM GANDY, PRESIDENT, NOW
                     SOW EDUCATION, 
                      REAP REWARDS.To solve the most challenging 
                      problems facing our world, 
                      President Obama should actively 
                      promote global gender equality. 
                      For every additional year of 
                      education a woman receives beyond the fourth
grade, 
                      her average family size drops by 20 percent, her
children’s 
                      mortality rates drop by 10 percent and her risk

                      of HIV/AIDS infection drops by over 50 percent.

                      
                      —KAVITA RAMDAS, PRESIDENT AND CEO, GLOBAL
FUND FOR WOMEN
                     GIVE GIRLS WHAT THEY WANT. As girls ages 8 
                      through 15, we’re so excited that Malia
and Sasha will 
                      be in the White House! What we need from the
president 
                      is better health care for girls and more
opportunities 
                      for college—not just getting in, but
paying for it. 
                      We need to end the war in Iraq, because so many

                      women and girls are dying there. As we grow up,
we 
                      need choices about our own bodies and we need
equal 
                      pay. Most of all, we need a president who
listens to all 
                      girls and respects us. 
                      P.S. We’re sending Malia and Sasha a
four-year 
                      membership to New Moon Girls. 
                    
                    —MEMBERS OF NEWMOONGIRLS.COM
                  SUPPORT GAY RIGHTS.                    Feminists
must stand in solidarity 
                    with the queer community and 
                    make sure we can attain marriage 
                    equality for same-sex couples. The 
                    passage of Proposition 8 in 
                    California showed me that this 
                    country still has a long way to go.
                    —MARGARET CHO, ACTOR AND COMEDIAN
                   CUT OFF ABSTINENCE-ONLY 
                    FUNDS. President Obama can 
                    eliminate the nearly $200 million a 
                    year going toward failed abstinence only- 
                    until-marriage programs from 
                    the budget he submits to Congress 
                    in February, and return to funding 
                    evidence-based programs that will foster a
generation of 
                    sexually healthy and happy adults. 
                    
                    —SHELBY KNOX, SEX-EDUCATION ACTIVIST,
SUBJECT OF 
                    THE DOCUMENTARY FILM THE EDUCATION OF SHELBY KNOX
                   DON’T PLAY POLITICAL 
                    FOOTBALL WITH WOMEN.                    You only
had to see “women’s 
                    health” reduced to air quotes by 
                    John McCain in the presidential 
                    debate to understand just how bad 
                    it’s gotten. But we’re hopeful, 
                    because Barack Obama is a woman’s man.
Raised by a single, 
                    independent mother, married to a woman every bit 
                    his equal and father of two smart young daughters,
it’s 
                    obvious President Obama gets us. He
unapologetically 
                    believes in our rights. 
                    We’re ready to get down to what women need:
affordable, 
                    quality health care and the unalienable right to
make 
                    our own decisions about childbearing. 
                    
                    —CECILE RICHARDS, PRESIDENT, 
                    PLANNED PARENTHOOD FEDERATION OF AMERICA
                   CLOSE FAKE CLINICS. How about we shut down all 
                    the anti-choice centers posing as pregnancy
clinics and 
                    turn them into Dunkin’ Donuts? 
                    —KATHY NAJIMY, ACTOR
                   ENSURE WOMEN CAN EARN. The road to social parity
for 
                    women of all cultures, including 
                    Afghanistan, is the same: universal 
                    education for girls, access to 
                    health care and family planning 
                    for women, and, above all, the 
                    means to earn money. Earnings give a woman a voice
in 
                    the family, the society and her own destiny.
Nothing else 
                    will elevate a woman as quickly in any culture,
including 
                    our own. 
                    —MAVIS LENO, CHAIR, FEMINIST MAJORITY
FOUNDATION’S CAMPAIGN TO HELP AFGHAN WOMEN AND GIRLS
                   ELEVATE WOMEN SCIENTISTS. President Obama 
                    can encourage young women to enter careers in
science 
                    and technology by appointing distinguished women
to 
                    influential positions in such federal agencies as
the 
                    National Institutes of Health and the National
Science 
                    Foundation. Young women need to believe that they
have 
                    a place in science, and success breeds success. 
                    
                    —SHIRLEY M. TILGHMAN, PRESIDENT, PRINCETON
UNIVERSITY
                  REMEMBER THE THREE R’S. 
                    Feminists understand that equality for women and
girls will be sustained 
                    when government makes progressive education a
national agenda. As we 
                    study and learn together we create community.
Making literacy and democratic 
                    education available to everyone is the necessary
foundation for 
                    responsible citizenship. Without education,
diverse populations cannot 
                    communicate across boundaries. 
                    
                    —BELL HOOKS, AUTHOR AND DISTINGUISHED
PROFESSOR IN 
                    RESIDENCE, BEREA COLLEGE
                  DON’T FORGET THE POOR.                    The
most urgent problem facing women and girls here 
                    and around the globe is poverty and its dire
consequences: 
                    poor health, dying young, illiteracy, violence,
HIV/AIDS, 
                    unwanted pregnancies, dependency, bleak futures. 
                    Women continue to be unsafe in their homes, their
workplaces, 
                    refugee camps and in war-torn spots around the 
                    world. Their families, not just middle-class
families, need 
                    the president’s ear. 
                    —BEVERLY GUY-SHEFTALL, FOUNDING DIRECTOR, 
                    WOMEN’S RESEARCH & RESOURCE CENTER,
SPELMAN COLLEGE
                   LIGHTEN EARTH’S LOAD.                   
Nothing is more important than 
                    that human beings begin to limit, 
                    drastically and immediately, their 
                    presence on the Earth. We must 
                    make obsolete the habit of projecting 
                    huge increases in the number 
                    of people expected to be born, and acting as if
these projections 
                    are inevitable and natural. They are neither. It
is 
                    women who are responsible for giving birth, and it
is simply 
                  not in any woman’s self-interest to have more
children than she herself can provide for. It is definitely not in the

                  best interest of the planet. Population decisions
must, 
                  ultimately, be placed in the hands of women. If men

                  expect to live very much longer on this Earth, they
will 
                  have to accept this reality. 
                  We need leadership that is not stuck in religious,
societal 
                  or moral doublespeak. As we enter what may be a new

                  period of enlightened awareness of our peril and a
heightened 
                  sense of what is possible, it is my hope that we
will 
                  demand from our leaders the same passion that we
possess: 
                  to lighten our Mother’s load, hear her cries
of distress, 
                  and discipline ourselves away from a vanity that 
                  makes us think Earth is all about us. 
                  
                  —ALICE WALKER, ESSAYIST, POET, NOVELIST AND
ACTIVIST; 
                  AUTHOR OF WE ARE THE ONES WE HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR
                   COUNT MATERNAL DEATH AS VIOLENCE.                  
 We should expand the definition of violence against 
                    women to include maternal mortality and lack of
access 
                    to family planning and safe abortion. Surely no
woman 
                    can plan her life if she is going to die in
childbirth or 
                    from unsafe abortion. Surely this is violence at
personhood 
                    just as are beatings, rape or honor killings. 
                    
                    —JANE ROBERTS, COFOUNDER, 
                    34 MILLION FRIENDS OF THE U.N. POPULATION FUND
                   SUPPORT TRUE 
                    GREEN SOLUTIONS.                    Green roofing,
urban forestry and 
                    healthy wetlands throughout our 
                    cities, suburbs and countryside 
                    could reduce the burden on traditional 
                    infrastructure, provide great 
                    local jobs and clean the air and water we all
depend on for 
                    healthy lives. 
  —MAJORA CARTER, FOUNDER, SUSTAINABLE SOUTH BRONX; 
                    ENVIRONMENTAL CONSULTANT
                   BEAR WITH US. How about we work to preserve a 
                    small patch of healthy grass for my kids’
kids to Slip n’ 
                    Slide on—and maybe a little cube of ice so
polar bears 
                    have somewhere to sit? 
                    
                    —KATHY NAJIMY, ACTOR
                   MAKE DREAMS COME TRUE. The historic election 
                    of a black president takes the dual mission of the

                    YWCA—eliminating racism and empowering
women— 
                    out of the dream state and into a world of
possibility. 
                    
                    —LORRAINE COLE, CEO, YWCA USA
                   MAKE ENOUGH BE ENOUGH. The late Alice Trillin
coined the principle of 
  “enoughism,” a threshold of wealth and consumption 
                    above which no one needs more—to which I
would add a 
                    threshold below which no one can thrive. We should

                    work to make this principle common sense. Even if
the 
                    thresholds are modest, enoughism could transform
the 
                    lives of women and children worldwide and reorient
policy 
                    fields ranging from the environment to human
rights 
                    to economics. 
                    
                    —WENDY BROWN, POLITICAL SCIENCE PROFESSOR, 
                    UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA AT BERKELEY
                   LET WOMEN REPAIR 
                    INTERNATIONAL CONFLICT. We must hold the U.N. to
its own 
                    rule that women be brought front 
                    and center in peace negotiations 
                    and post-conflict rebuilding. 
                    Women’s fully empowered presence 
                    in resolving conflicts would forever alter these 
                    processes—and perhaps post-conflict would no
longer just 
                    be another synonym for pre-war. 
                    
                    —ABIGAIL DISNEY, PRODUCER OF THE 
                  DOCUMENTARY FILM PRAY THE DEVIL BACK TO HELL
                  HALT THE RAIDS. First, Obama should place a
moratorium on immigration 
                    raids, which are having a terrible impact on
Latinas. If they’re not arrested 
                    along with their husbands, these women end up
under house arrest, relying on 
                    local charities to feed themselves and their
children. Second, a woman’s right 
                    to choose is not up for debate. Punto.
                    —DAISY HERNÁNDEZ, EDITOR, COLORLINES
MAGAZINE
                  PROSECUTE WAR 
                    CRIMINALS.                    Now is the time for
the U.S. to join 
                    the International Criminal Court, 
                    the world’s first-ever permanent 
                    war crimes tribunal. Transnational 
                    feminist activists have successfully 
                    ensured that systematic wartime rape and sexual
slavery 
                    are crimes prosecutable by the ICC. One hundred
and 
                    eight countries have ratified the treaty that
established the 
                    court; opposed are Iraq, Libya, Israel, China,
Yemen, 
                    Qatar and, yes, the United States. Barack Obama
needs to 
                    sign the treaty, then send it to the Senate for
ratification. 
                    
                    —CYNTHIA ENLOE, RESEARCH PROFESSOR, CLARK
UNIVERSITY
                   ROOT OUT MILITARY RAPE. As commander in chief, 
                    President Obama can direct the military never to
tolerate 
                    or hide the sexual persecution of its women again,
and to 
                    lift the ban against women in combat, which denies
them 
                    the respect they have earned. Today, even as women
soldiers 
                    are fighting and dying in the Iraq and Afghanistan

                    wars, their treatment by their comrades is a
national scandal. 
                    They are sent into combat without official
recognition, 
                    one-third are sexually assaulted and almost all
are 
                    harassed. Here is Obama’s chance to take on
military 
                    misogyny at its roots. 
                    —HELEN BENEDICT, AUTHOR OF THE FORTHCOMING 
                    THE LONELY SOLDIER: THE PRIVATE WAR OF WOMEN
SERVING IN IRAQ 
                    (BEACON PRESS, APRIL)
                   POLICE THE TRAFFICKERS. An estimated 27 million
people, 
                    mostly women and girls, are victims 
                    of human trafficking. Ending 
                    this crime requires a concerted 
                    international effort to prosecute 
                    traffickers fully at home and 
                    abroad. By repairing and strengthening our
country’s 
                    relationships with our international neighbors,
Barack 
                    Obama can empower the global response that is
required 
                    to combat the modern-day slave trade. 
                    —KAMALA HARRIS, DISTRICT ATTORNEY, SAN
FRANCISCO
                   LET THE SURVIVORS LEAD. The violence-against women

                    movement has to, once again, become a movement 
                    and not just a network of social-service
providers. 
                    Violence will only end when survivors are seen as
potential 
                    organizers on their own behalf, rather than simply
clients 
                    of social workers, lawyers, judges or medical
personnel. 
                    
                    —ANDREA SMITH, PROFESSOR OF AMERICAN CULTURE
AND 
                    WOMEN’S STUDIES, UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN; 
                    COFOUNDER, INCITE! WOMEN OF COLOR AGAINST
VIOLENCE
                   GO LOCAL. Let’s transform the U.S. from a
global bully 
                    into a source of support for grassroots
women’s movements 
                    around the world. Support local women’s
movements without 
                    co-opting them. Remove ideological strings on U.S.

                    aid and give communities the power to dictate
their own 
                    needs. Simply listen to women. We’re
talking. 
                    —JILL FILIPOVIC, BLOGGER, FEMINISTE
                   INVEST IN CARETAKING. Training more health-care 
                    workers, teachers and social workers will allow us
to truly 
                    invest in our future and create jobs for women.
And passing 
                    the Employee Free Choice Act—which would
allow 
                    workers to join a union with a single
signature—will ultimately 
                    lift the incomes of all workers. 
                    
                    —DOLORES HUERTA, COFOUNDER, UNITED FARM
WORKERS; 
                    PRESIDENT, DOLORES HUERTA FOUNDATION
                   DEAR PRESIDENT OBAMA: I have received so many
breathless 
                    letters myself and now it’s role reversal 
                    time. You have reawakened 
                    a disillusioned and passive 
                    electorate and begun healing racial 
                    wounds that have crippled us for 
                    centuries. I believe, like you do, that America
today is not 
                    as intolerant and bitterly divided as we are
encouraged to 
                    be by the mainstream media and the military
industrial 
                    complex that dictates its messaging. It is my
sincere hope 
                    that our national discourse will rise to your
example and 
                    employ more humility and maturity in the political
arena. 
                    I look forward to working with you. ¡Viva
democracia! 
                    
                    —ANI DIFRANCO, SINGER-SONGWRITER\
                  BROADEN HEALTH CARE. Create health care systems 
                    that are culturally competent, linguistically
accessible 
                    and geographically centered in underserved
communities. 
                    It is imperative for our nation’s leaders to
make the 
                    health of women of color a priority.
                    —ELEANOR HINTON HOYTT, PRESIDENT AND CEO,
BLACK WOMEN’S 
                    HEALTH IMPERATIVE
                   RE-ROUTE 
                    U.S. MONEY.                    It’ll be a
long hard slog for our new 
                    president to correct all the ways 
                    American policies deepen the marginalization 
                    and poverty of women 
                    in developing countries. From the 
                    boatloads of cash we send to patriarchal,
undemocratic 
                    regimes such as Saudi Arabia to the trade policies
that 
                    allow U.S. corporations to exploit the labor of
some of the 
                    most impoverished women in the
world—it’ll take more 
                    than the brush of a presidential pen. In the
meantime, can 
                    we at least not spread sexist dogma with our aid
dollars? 
                    Billions in U.S. funding for HIV/AIDS prevention 
                    require recipients to preach abstinence and
condemn 
                    prostitution. It doesn’t work, it’s
dangerous and it should 
                    end, straight away. 
                    
                    —SONIA SHAH, INVESTIGATIVE JOURNALIST; 
                    AUTHOR OF THE BODY HUNTERS: TESTING NEW 
                    DRUGS ON THE WORLD’S POOREST PATIENTS 
                    AND CRUDE: THE STORY OF OIL
                   WATER THE GRASSROOTS. The Obama administration 
                    alone can’t do all the things we want it
to—it 
                    requires a vibrant and effective counterpart in
the social change 
                    sector. As an organizer, Obama 
                    understands the kind of support they need 
                    to make real and lasting change. 
                    —THE EDITORS OF FEMINISTING.COM
                   
                   
                                    Visions of the Day
                  OPEN THE CAGES.  The prison problem’s not just
at Guantánamo. One  in 100 U.S. adults lives in a cage: the
world's highest  rate. Mass incarceration is an anti-racist feminist
issue. It diminishes  life-chances for millions of working-class
women. They struggle through  quadruple days—at jobs, fighting
for justice, nurturing imprisoned parents'  children, and guiding
women and men who, on release, encounter neo-segregation  rules
devised by Republicans and Democrats. Societies know how to reduce
harm  through decriminalization. Obama can end the domestic war by
abolishing  catch-all federal incarceration and detention, dropping
reentry barriers, and  giving states and counties incentives to do the
same.
                    —RUTH WILSON GILMORE, PROFESSOR, UNIVERSITY
OF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA; AUTHOR, GOLDEN GULAG: PRISONS, SURPLUS,
CRISIS, AND OPPOSITION IN GLOBALIZING CALIFORNIA
                  CATCH UP—THEN MOVE AHEAD. I'd like to see not
just a reversal of all the  damage Bush has done—a repeal of the
global gag rule, refunding the UNFPA, a  repeal of the Partial Birth
Abortion Act, and an end to abstinence-only  funding—but also a
step forward. It's hard for Democrats to remember this, but  we can
move forward. How about comprehensive sex education and woman-friendly
 universal health care to start with?
                    —AMANDA MARCOTTE, BLOGGER, PANDAGON
                  GET WOMEN OUT OF THE MARGINS. What do we really want
to see? The end of women’s issues. Don’t get us 
wrong—not the ignoring of women’s issues. Not a
downplaying of all that  feminists have achieved. What we want is
leadership that considers all these  issues as simply human issues.
This change will need to come from  leadership—both women and
men—who were raised on feminism, for whom feminism is  a natural
assumption. And it will come from feminists who believe in 
inclusiveness—in reaching across the gender aisle, so to speak.
                    —KATIE GOODMAN AND SOREN KISIEL, CO-WRITERS
AND DIRECTORS, BROAD COMEDY
                  EMPOWER THE INVISIBLE ONES. Every week, I lead
writing workshops with young  women of color who are either
incarcerated or on probation in the San Francisco  Bay Area. They have
been arrested for stealing, for street prostitution, for  gang
involvement or because they have nowhere else to go. Their problems
stem  from poverty, but also from being invisible. If you don't see
yourself in the  public sphere, how can you participate? The
mainstream media refuses to  acknowledge their stories, instead
focusing on the easy gloss of Gossip Girl and Super Sweet 16. If we
want to empower this generation of young  women—those who have
been silenced and marginalized—we must provide the tools  and
the distribution for them to tell their stories.
                          —NEELANJANA BANERJEE, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF,
YO! YOUTH OUTLOOK MULTIMEDIA
                  STOP THE BOMBARDMENT. When I tour in my band, the
teenage girls that I  see are so, so hungry for strong women to look
up to. The ones who are turned  on by the idea of female empowerment
are completely confused as they encounter  the roaring paradox of a
commercial culture that screams BE YOURSELF while pummeling them with
fad diets, thongs, waxing and  vapid celebrity-worship. Girls are
becoming sexualized so early, without being  given any honest
education about how to wield their power. I am hoping that the  next
few years usher in what we all need so badly—an era of
self-realization,  self-acceptance and responsibility. This planet is
crumbling. There's no more  time to dick around.
                        —AMANDA PALMER, DRESDEN DOLLS
                  REPEAL, PROVIDE, SUPPORT. Repeal the Hyde Amendment
denying Medicaid coverage of abortion except in cases  of rape, incest
or life endangerment. Provide subsidized daycare to working  moms so
women and children can enjoy the same benefits as their counterparts
in  other industrialized countries. Support equal
rights—penalize employers who pay  women less than men for doing
the same job.
                    —COCO FUSCO, ARTIST
                  STOP SELLING OUT THE POOR. If  we really are
entering a new phase of politics, we have to stop selling out  poor
people to appease opponents of women’s human rights. Political
expedience  has sacrificed us for too long, and we will not stand
silently by while  conventional wisdom (neither conventional nor wise)
tells us that we should  only reach for common ground and forget that
women who need birth control, sex  education, and other reproductive
health services also need abortion rights.                    
                    —LORETTA J. ROSS, NATIONAL COORDINATOR,
SISTERSONG WOMEN OF COLOR REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH COLLECTIVE
                  GET UP, STAND UP. Bush said that dissent was
dangerous to  national security, and we stayed home and blogged our
anger. But finally, we  got off our collective booties and elected
President Obama and now we can say,  without fear, that we want
equality in marriage, in wages and via full  unequivocal dominion over
our bodies. Why do we fear losing our so-called  “inalienable
rights” every four years? You may say we’re dreamers, but
we’re  not the only ones. We hope one day you’ll join
us—but if not, we’ll drag you  along.
                    —FRANCES CALLIER AND ANGELA V. SHELTON (THE
RADIO HOSTS KNOWN AS FRANGELA)
                  80 CENTS IS NO DOLLAR. For too long, business as
usual  in America has meant  underpaying women. It is time for the
U.S. to catch up with other countries and  sign the Fair Pay Act,
requiring employers to pay jobs dominated by women  fairly, compared
with men's jobs of equivalent value. It's past time to close  the
gender wage gap.
                    —HEIDI HARTMANN, PRESIDENT, INSTITUTE FOR
WOMEN'S POLICY RESEARCH
                                     Readers' Visions
                   My  vision for encouraging women's equality in the
world involves the necessary  first step of bringing into our
collective consciousness the many ways that our  (women's) subordinate
roles support the current economic dynamics in the world.  We can
certainly add our important voices to the current world evaluation of 
economic distress. The world needs to stop seeing the common roles
women play  in the family and society as the norm. We can create new,
collaborative ways of  working in society.
                          —AMY HOSTETTER, MA
                   Value  care more than we value competition. 
                    –CELIA WINKLER, MT
                   [We  need] protection for gays and lesbians and
their family—marriage rights protect  us, our partners, our
children.
                        —KAREN WARREN, CA
                   A  world community galvanized by diversity will
come very close to my vision of  transformational change.
                    —MARGA DIETER, MA
                   We  need a national health plan, affordable housing
and jobs that pay enough to  live with dignity.
                        —JUDITH FREEMAN, NY
                   Let  us envision a world in which women and
children are safe, in which men choose  diplomacy over militarism as
the first way to resolve conflicts; a world in  which equality reigns
and every group is granted the same civil rights; a world  where
communication, compassion, vision and enterprise are inextricably
linked  and individuals and corporations work together to achieve
humanitarian ends.
                     —FRANCESCA JACOBS, NJ
                   We  look forward to working with President Obama on
his promise to create policies  that value families at work. These
include guaranteeing a minimum number of  paid sick days, expanding
access to family leave, making leave affordable and  ending family
responsibility discrimination. We also hope to see a  family-friendly
White House—not just space for kids, but everyone having time 
to spend with their loved ones. This agenda is critical to ensure
equality for  women in the workplace and in the home. 
                    —ELLEN BRAVO, WI
                   [My  vision] is to make the world 
colorblind—we need to teach young women that we're all the same
regardless of  our skin color. We fight the same battles and together
can help heal the wounds  of the world.
                      —LAEY HUDSON, CT
                   [We  need to] invest in comprehensive HIV/AIDS
prevention. Numerous studies and  evidence show that abstinence-only
rhetoric is a complete failure and is  helping increase HIV/AIDS
prevalence in our communities, with girls and women  as vulnerable as
ever. The President needs to revoke the abstinence- only  provisions
of PEPFAR. 
                     —BETHSHEBA ORERO, CA
                   Train boys to be men that don't need to oppress
women.
                    —DIANE PEI WU, CA
                   TV  shows like Buffy, the Vampire Slayer and
Charmed are empowering women to  leave traditional religion and join
female-centered belief systems such as  Wicca, Paganism, and the New
Age movement. I would love to see more movies and  programs about
females who are in control of their lives through the use of 
spirituality and witchcraft. Promoting earth-centered religions such
as  paganism is also an excellent way to get people to focus on
environmental  concerns. 
                     —HEATHER LANDRY, TN
                   We need VOCA (the Victims of Crime Act) and VAWA
(the  Violence Against Women Act) fully refunded. The Bush
administration cut funding  for these acts, which forced domestic
violence and sexual assault programs to  close or reduce staff. Now
women in abusive relationships have fewer resources.
                     —DORIE BUDDE, TX
                   To be a true democracy, we need to pass a law
mandating a  50/50 Congress by 2016. Only then will our nation be
fully human.
                     —GENEVIEVE MARCUS, CA
                   The elimination of gender-based wage discrimination
is of  critical importance to the families of working women who
comprise half of  America’s working people. Even in good times,
the wage gap—77 cents earned by  women for each dollar earned by
men—persists across all years of experience and  all levels of
education. Data from the Institute of Women’s Policy Research 
shows that families suffer as a result: During the first 20 years of a
typical  woman’s working life, the gap already has cost her and
her family $440,000.  Women get no price break when they pay for gas,
groceries, or the light bill;  why should employers get a price break
when they pay women?
                     —MARIA ROBERTS, FL
                   Let's start with passage of the Equal Rights
Amendment! What  better legacy than to bring the dream of equality
into reality for women and  girls. We've broken one barrier with this
election--now let's bring down the  ugly and demeaning sexism that
pervades our society.
                     —MARILYN DEL DUCA, NJ
                   It's time that women who work just as hard as men
for their  degrees in college receive the same pay as a man with the
same qualifications.  If we don't enforce equal pay, it will always
remain unequal pay.
                     —WENDY STEINBERG, MN
                   It is absolutely necessary that women's history
become  integrated into all history taught in  public and private
schools. Without a sense of historical identity, it is as  difficult
for women to move forward to full participation in the world 
community as it has been (and continues to be) for so-called
“minority groups.”  A thorough grounding in our history
will enable women to achieve full emancipation.
                     —KAY ANDERSON, CA
                   Let's get the pay equity issue solved. So many
countries are  ahead of the U.S. in this area. The new president could
begin by mandating  equal pay for work of equal value in all
government agencies and all private  businesses that want government
contracts.
                     —JUDY PEHRSON, PA
                   



                
              
                          
          
        
      
     
    
            
        
              
                
                  
                         
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