Honoring Women by Congressman Cleaver
March 16, 2013
March is the month to honor women. Women in our country’s history, women in our own history, and, of course, women in our own lives.
Intelligent, brave, and caring women have played such an enormous role in shaping our nation. Indeed, since the very beginning. Tragically, women didn’t have the right to vote until 1920, but their contributions were evident and vital before that time, and since, in making America the great country it is today.
This month we honor women as a part of National Women’s History Month. But, as my wife lovingly reminds me, every day is a day to honor women. This national effort gives us a meaningful opportunity to reflect upon the contributions women have made throughout history – and also a chance to reflect upon the many struggles, challenges, and changes they have overcome.
From Betsy Ross, Harriet Beecher Stowe and Abigail Adams to Shirley Chisholm, Sandra Day O’Connor, Nancy Pelosi, and Hillary Clinton – women continue to pioneer in every aspect of our country by fighting for economic and social equality. The fight also continues to break glass ceilings in American politics and boardrooms all across the country. Women in America have persisted and overcome every obstacle put in front of them.
The renewal of the Violence Against Women Act recently, which passed the House with my vote, was a great victory for all women in our country.
But it alone, it is not enough.
Millions of women are at risk because of dramatic budget cuts that went into effect on March 1st. Those cuts will reduce critical investments in small business, health care, medical research, education, and child care assistance.
We need a balanced, responsible, and bipartisan plan to replace these cuts.
We need a plan that reduces the deficit, while creating jobs, strengthening the middle class, and growing the economy.
The February jobs report just released from the Department of Labor shows the economy added another 236,000 jobs last month. And the unemployment rate fell to 7.7%, the lowest in four years. This marks the 36th consecutive month of private sector growth. There is still much work to be done, but this is no time to put the economic engine in reverse.
In Missouri, 14.5% of women are living in poverty, and 20.4% have no health care coverage. I will continue to fight to stop these mindless, indiscriminate cuts that will hurt women and families in Missouri’s Fifth District.
Working to protect the gains women have made, and to support historic legislation to improve the lives of women and families, is vital.
Women’s History Month gives us a chance to appreciate the courage the contributions of women on a large scale – but it is also very personal. Many women in my life have inspired me and shaped the person I’ve become. From Grandma Annie Mae, who was both the sweetest and toughest person in the world, to my Aunt Edna, who was smart, well-read, and so wise. From my wonderful mother and my three sisters, to my wife, my daughter, and my two beautiful granddaughters, the women in my own history have inspired me and filled me with happiness and hope. For that I thank them, and wish them, and you – a Happy Women’s History Month.
To see a video message from Congressman Cleaver on Women’s History Month please visit: http://cleaver.house.gov/video/video