It has been just over 100 years since women received their right to vote. The suffrage movement of brave women gave the women’s movement a huge boost. Just like any other minority group, women have advocated for their rights for many decades.
To this day, women continue to fight for equal rights. Per the Economy Policy Institute, when compared to men, white women get paid about 80 cents, Hispanic women 58 cents and Black women 65 cents to the dollar. This conversation recently moved to the frontlines when the women’s U.S. soccer team won the World Cup in 2019.
Women have taken to the streets with their annual women’s march to be heard on topics such as equal pay, reproductive health rights, equal representation in government, fair treatment for acts of rape, sexual violence, domestic abuse and to voice their opinions over the atrocities that happen to women in other countries across the world. In some countries, women are killed for violating biased rules placed against them, they are forced to cover up their entire body so men don’t find any sexual desire with them—even their hair— and forced into human trafficking and prostitution.
We have a lot of work to do in order to bring equal rights to women. It is time to pass the Equal Rights Amendment that will guarantee equal rights to men and women, despite their gender. I have always been a supporter of women, many are my best friends. I stand with my sisters in hopes that one day, they too can live in a world that sees them as equal. It is up to each one of us to contribute to the betterment of women in our societies.
We need to respect these women that contribute so much to our communities and our families. Many are mothers and matriarchs. They work long hours to provide for their families, yet a stereotypical society doesn’t award them the title of being the “breadwinner.” It is up to us to change this old school thinking. We need to move forward and that includes an active participation from every single one of us. Our struggles may be different, but in the end they are very similar. We all want to be seen as equal, no matter where we are from—even from a small country coastal city like Watsonville. Happy Women’s History Month.
Mayor’s Update is a recurring column from Watsonville’s Mayor, Jimmy Dutra. His opinions are his own and not necessarily those of the Pajaronian. Contact Dutra at [email protected].