Darneille: On International Women’s Day we must keep the momentum going

March 8th, 2016|

OLYMPIASen. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, issued the following statement in celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, 2016:

“International Women’s Day is always a wonderful day to celebrate the remarkable women of our past, our present and a potent reminder to support all girls who will become women leaders of the future.

“This year’s theme is focused on gender equality and a pledge for parity, which has been a central element of the women’s movement since its birth. Women have made significant contributions to our social, economic, cultural, political, and scientific and technological communities across the globe. Without the contribution and bravery of these women, we would not be as advanced as we are today. We must keep the momentum going.

“Women in the United States continue to earn 78 cents for every dollar earned by a man. This economic disparity grows larger for women of color. At the current rate, women are not expected to achieve economic parity with men until 2058. Washington State has an equal pay act that has not been updated since 1943. I can safely say that a few things have changed since then. Efforts to update our state’s equal pay act over the last two years have continuously stalled in the Republican-led Senate Commerce and Labor Committee.

“The State of Washington is currently ranked fourth in the nation for having the largest number of women serving in elected office. For over a decade our state was ranked first in the nation between 1993 and 2004. Both of our U.S. Senators are women, as are three of our 10 Congressional delegates. In the Legislature, women represent 34 percent of the lawmakers.

“The 27th Legislative District has a long history of women representation in the Senate. Sen. Debbie Regala served before me and the great Sen. Lorraine Wojahn served for many years before her. Sen. Wojahn was the first woman President Pro Tem of the Senate to preside during a session adjourning sine die. She was a trailblazer and pioneer for women senators during a time when women serving in state government was not the norm.

“No celebration of International Women’s Day would be complete without recognition of my son, Will, who was born today. I have worked for 29 years to successfully “grow” a feminist and am very proud of the man my son has become.

“I hope you will all join me in celebrating the accomplishments and achievements of all of the great women who have contributed and who will make a difference in our lives and our world.”