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Today is Women’s Equality Day. 94 years ago, on August 26, 1920, the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution became official and women across America were guaranteed the right to vote. Here in Oregon, women earned that right in 1912, and only after Oregon’s male-only electorate rejected suffrage multiple times.
Through the determined activism of women like Oregon’s Abigail Scott Duniway and the millions who joined her here and across the country, we knocked down a barrier to full equality and gained the right to have our voices heard on Election Day.
As the fifth woman from Oregon to serve in Congress, I know that was just the beginning.
Women have made great progress, but the struggle for equality continues to this day. There is still more work to do to provide women with economic security and the opportunities their families need, including:
Equal Pay for Equal Work: Pay equity has been the law since 1963, but there is still a gender gap.
Affordable and high quality childcare: Parents struggle to afford child care and it often costs more than one parent can earn.
Family & Medical Leave: Millions of workers do not have paid sick days or time off if they become ill or if they need to care for a sick child or family member.
There are many women and parents across the district who are trying to make ends meet to care for their families, and they highlight the importance of these issues. We must do more to support families and provide economic security; we must do better for women in America.
On this Women’s Equality Day, please stand with me as we celebrate the achievement of the 19th Amendment, acknowledge the brave women who made it possible, and rededicate ourselves to the goal of full equality for women in the United States.