Since they began in April, weekly “Moral Monday” protests at the North Carolina General Assembly have snowballed into a state-wide progressive movement garnering national media attention. Led by the NC NAACP, thousands of activists from across the state are taking a stand in defense of quality public education, access to healthcare, and expanded participation in voting and employment. This past Monday, Women AdvaNCe joined the fray. We gathered in Raleigh to protest legislation that is to the detriment of North Carolina women.
You may ask: “Which new and proposed state laws disadvantage women?” You should ask: “Which ones don’t?” The 2013 report on The Status of Women in North Carolina revealed that women in our state continue to earn only 83 percent of what men earn for the same work. Single mothers constitute the majority of North Carolinians living in poverty, and these economic disparities only increase for women of color. With such existing difficulties, North Carolina women cannot afford to face further setbacks—and yet a dearth of restrictive legislation requires that they do. Take a look at Women AdvaNCe’s latest headlines: budget proposals would slash women’s economic development; a questionable plan to address unemployment; NC may kick pregnant women off Medicaid. This North Carolina legislature has not been kind to women.
On June 24, Women AdvaNCe joined twelve other women’s organizations to dedicate Moral Monday to North Carolina women. With over 5,000 protesters in attendance, the day dwarfed all other Moral Mondays to date. Today, July 1, a plan to cut unemployment benefits for 71,000 jobless North Carolinians will go into effect and “workers thrown out of work through no fault of their own will face deepening poverty as a result.” This sounds like a problem to me. If this sounds like a problem to you, now’s the time to do something about it; I’ll see you in Raleigh.