BY JINA DHILLON, PRESIDENT, NC WOMEN UNITED Women should be angry.
Do you know why? We should be angry because we’ve been left out of some very important conversations in the past few months.
I’m a woman, and I surely can’t speak for all of us, but I can say that when someone talks about me, for me, and without me, it makes me angry. After all, who else is better equipped to know what I need, what I care about, and what drives me to excel as a woman, a sister, a daughter, and a community member than, well, me? That sounds so simple, right?
That’s because – aha! -it is simple.
Ask any woman. She knows what it takes to make her unique household work–what kinds of food will nourish her family, which doctor will best meet her and her family’s health needs, which school or day care will nurture her child’s growing mind. She may ask other people for their advice because she’s not afraid to ask for help, but at the end of the day, she knows best. And if you need confirmation of that, well, just ask her.
So why is our General Assembly speaking about us, for us, and without us?
So far in the 2013 legislative session, here’s what you haven’t seen: you haven’t seen sustained funding for child care subsidies, which low-income workers rely on to pursue work or additional educational training. You haven’t seen a restored appropriation to the NC Housing Trust Fund, a program that helps ensure women and working families are able to pay housing expenses while still meeting basic needs like paying for child care and groceries. You also haven’t seen movement on any proactive legislation that would prevent racial profiling, protect against discriminatory employment practices, or end human trafficking in North Carolina. Another thing you haven’t seen: an attempt to ensure full funding of early childhood programs and the K-12 system in our state.
I’m thinking there’s something our elected officials really do need to see. They need to see me. And more importantly, they need to see you. They need to see us: women from across the state unified and making our voices heard.