Working for Women
Thursday, 08 March 2012
Each year, Women’s History Month lends us the opportunity to honor all of the amazing women in our lives, and to reflect on how far women in our country have come. The work towards full equality is not yet done, and this month also allows us the chance to recommit to working for women everywhere.
This year’s theme of Women’s History Month, “Women’s Education – Women’s Empowerment,” is an incredibly important message that promotes the strength and intelligence of all women. Every day, I work to see that women have access to advanced education and career opportunities.
Women continue to remain underrepresented in the sciences; the Association for Women in Science has estimated that women account for only 24 percent of the workforce in science related fields. In order to improve this number, I am dedicated to advancing and expanding Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) education for all students, particularly young women. I have hosted, and will continue to host, women in engineering panels in order to promote female role models in STEM fields to students.
Women bring a different and important perspective to the table, and for our country to remain a leader in innovation, I believe it is critical that women are represented in the STEM fields. As a member of the Congressional STEM Education Caucus, I will keep working to see that we make progress in bringing more women into STEM fields, and in bridging the gender gap in the sciences.
Additionally, I believe that in order to truly empower women, we must ensure that they have access to important health services. In recent weeks, we have seen a number of attacks on women’s health. Many of the things we have seen and heard are unbelievable and unacceptable in the year 2012.
Fortunately, despite the political attacks, the truth is that the Affordable Care Act continues to make great advances for women’s health. I recently heard a story from one of Sacramento’s local small business owners, a woman named Jenneane, on why the law is so important.
Because Jenneane is self-employed, she pays for all of her health care costs out of pocket. She said that requiring insurance plans to cover the costs of contraceptives and preventative services will mean that she can use the money she saves to invest in her business, and her future. I will continue fighting to see that the health care law and its preventative care services are protected, so that every woman has access to the care they need and deserve.
As a mother and a grandmother, I know firsthand the obstacles that women face juggling all of life’s responsibilities. I will keep working to see that women’s rights, education, and health care are strengthened, so that women can keep doing it all.