Thursday, November 21, 2013

And the Award Goes to...

On Wednesday, November 20, 2013, renowned women’s rights activist Gloria Steinem received the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Barrack Obama. 

This medal is the highest honor the United States can award an individual who is not a member of the U.S. military. The medal is “presented to individuals who have made especially meritorious contributions to the security or national interests of the United States, to world peace, or to cultural or other significant public or private endeavors”.  

President Obama praised Steinen for promoting “lasting political and social change in America and abroad” and, among other things, for “inspiring us all to take up the cause of reaching for a more just tomorrow.”  

Steinen is a feminist, journalist, and social and political activist.  She has been a leader in the pro-choice movement for more than forty years, and is one of America’s foremost feminists. She is the co-founder of the feminist-themed magazine Ms., and has actively campaigned for the Equal Rights Amendment, access to abortion, equal marriage, as well as many other politically charged causes and organizations.

Upon accepting the award, Steinem said, “I’d be crazy if I didn’t understand that this was a medal for the entire women’s movement.”

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Pioneer for Women’s Equality

In a touching short essay, Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) memorializes how the inspirational former Representative, Patsy Mink, affected her life as a woman aspiring to create change through politics. Senator Hirono was struck not only by Mink’s enduring sense of commitment and determination, but also her unabashed opinions on progressive change. 

Former Representative Mink co-authored the well-known Title IX legislation, which prohibited academic institutions from rejecting women and girls due to gender discrimination and protected them against sexual harassment. Both Hirono and Mink have incredible stories of coming from humble beginnings, facing adversity, and overcoming all odds to become successful politicians. Hirono talks about the personal sense of connection she shared with Patsy Mink, as they had shared visions for women’s equality and were trailblazers for entering Congress as Asian-American women. 

The legacy of Patsy Mink will never become obsolete in Hawaiian Senator Hirono’s heart, and neither for us. The essay is part of a series called “Women Rule,” an effort by POLITICO, Google, and The Tory Burch Foundation to raise awareness of women spearheading changes in politics, policy, and their communities. 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Happy Weekend - What We're Reading Right Now

Happy Friday MWPC Friends!

To celebrate the weekend, we thought we would share with you what we’re reading right now. It’s been a good week for women to make the political news, so here are a few of our top picks.

The Bay State Banner wrote a great article about the top finishes for Ayanna Pressley and Michelle Wu, both endorsed by the MWPC, in the Boston City Council At-Large election just a couple of weeks ago. Not only is it great to have two women topping the ticket in a race that started with 19 candidates, but also to have two women of color is a sign of the changing landscape of the city.

The wants and needs of voters are changing and Michelle Wu worked hard to address those changes along the campaign trail. According to MWPC Executive Director Priti Rao, “We need to encourage more women to run. The success Michelle had with her campaign is a sign to other women it can be done.” Check out the whole article here.

The Dorchester Reporter wrote another great article about the top finishes of Ayanna Pressley and Michelle Wu, but also of the fifth place finish of another MWPC endorsed candidate, Annissa Essaibi-George. While fifth place is not good enough to earn a spot on the Council right now, it does qualify her for a seat should any sitting At-Large Councilor not be able to finish his or her term.

The article also highlighted the work of re-elected Councilor Ayanna Pressley who has worked tirelessly throughout her past two terms to reduce trauma for women and girls. It’s an issue that clearly resonated with the voters; they elected Councilor Pressley to her third term on the City Council. Councilor Pressley also mentioned the fact that having a record to run on is extremely important in a race like this and she is very proud of her record so far on the Council. Check out the whole article here.

Our last pick of the day comes from The Boston Globe’s report on the UMass Boston Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy event “Opening Doors: Women's Political Leadership in Boston.” The event focused on the mayoral run of former candidate, Charlotte Golar-Richie. This was the first time she had spoke publically about the campaign since Election Day and said there were three things she needed in order to make it into the general election in November; time, money and opportunity.

At the end of the day, these aspects of her campaign did not come together in time and she placed third in the preliminary election, jus shy of a top two finish to carry her into the general election. While her election to the top spot in City Hall would have made history as the first female mayor as well as the first mayor of color, her run made it possible for other women to do the same in the future. Check out the whole article here.

Happy reading and happy weekend from the MWPC!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Are We Saying Goodbye To The Glass Ceiling?

Last week, Hillary Clinton unveiled a new initiative designed to accelerate the participation of women and girls around the world in economic, cultural, political, and social aspects of life. Hillary’s, “No Ceilings: The Full Participation Project” was introduced at the Pennsylvania Conference for Women. 
At the conference Hillary stated, “[I] believe that women everywhere can be and are agents of change, drivers of progress, makers of peace – all we need is a fighting chance to show what we can do in every part of life.” (Clinton Foundation, 2013).  Hillary is pushing to give so many women and girls the chance they have been dreaming of, the chance of a lifetime to fully participate in all aspects of society. If the initiative were to catch on, we could expect to see full and equal participation of women in political, civil, and economic life.  This is the kind of movement that we at MWPC have been working so hard for.  We look forward to seeing some change!

So many women have felt the pressures of the glass ceiling pushing them down.  This idea of the glass ceiling keeps women from climbing the corporate ladder regardless of their qualifications.  This initiative can start to change that. Women will be able to take their rightful seat in the Senate, in the House, and even in the Oval Office.

Thank you Hillary for continuing the fight for women around the world.

Find out more about the initiative here: