Keeping up the fight for equality.
By Nicole Merchut, Intern at OFA
On the anniversary of the Women’s March, millions of Americans stood together, shoulder to shoulder, and marched once again. We spoke our truths, we listened, we lifted up each other’s voices, and we shared our #MeToo stories — challenging power structures that are deeply rooted in our culture and embedded in public policy.
As a movement of grassroots activists and organizers concerned about the direction of our country, we had a chance to reflect on the battles won (and lost) — to realize that the struggle for gender equality is far from over. Some of the most consequential fights are happening right now, in Congress, in state legislatures, and even in corporate offices across the country.
Over the past year, congressional leaders have continued their efforts to chip away at our most fundamental rights — proposing a 20-week abortion ban and countless attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act, threatening our access to life-saving health care. From this administration’s decision to end no-cost birth control coverage to the never-ending crusade to defund Planned Parenthood, the effort to dismantle women’s rights accelerated across the country and reminded us that our fight for equality remains unfinished.
The new year has already seen its share of extreme voices in Washington aiming to systematically undermine millions of women, hitting those with low-incomes and women of color particularly hard. In spite of it all, we must remain resilient. That’s what we do. It’s what we’ve always done. Remain resilient. As lawmakers try to turn back the clock on all the progress OFA volunteers and the progressive movement have worked so hard for, we must transform every ounce of our anger and frustration into meaningful action — by calling our representatives, sharing our personal stories, and organizing in our local communities.
It’s on us to advocate for the issues we care about most — like finding a permanent solution to protect more than 800,000 DREAMers or addressing America’s epidemic of gun violence — to bring them to the forefront of conversations in our communities. It’s on each and every one of us to stand up, speak out, and emphasize the impact they have on women’s lives.
Passionate and concerned Americans — people like you — spent the past year stepping up in ways that have made it difficult for leaders in Washington to ignore: By making calls to Congress, organizing marches all over the country, and running for local office.
You made your voices heard — loudly and clearly. But we can’t stop now. We’ll need each and every one of our voices speaking out in the year ahead.
Let’s get to work.
Be a part of the movement that’s standing up for women everywhere — join us at www.ofa.us.