Wasserman Schultz on Rankin Anniversary, Women's History Month

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Washington, DC, March 3, 2017 | comments
It was 100 years ago Saturday that Jeannette Rankin took her seat as the first woman elected to Congress, breaking up the ultimate all-male power club. Surviving unwelcoming workplaces is something Rankin and countless other women have endured, and sadly, many still do today. And while women have always worked, it's too often been in situations where they were underpaid, undervalued or not paid at all. As we celebrate Women's History Month, it's important to acknowledge the low wages, poor working conditions and limited opportunities so many generations of women endured. But during this month we can also celebrate the fearless civic, labor and business innovators who knocked those barriers down for all the sisters and daughters who followed them.
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U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) released the following statement in honor of Women's History Month and the historic anniversary of Jeannette Rankin's entry into Congress:

It was 100 years ago Saturday that Jeannette Rankin took her seat as the first woman elected to Congress, breaking up the ultimate all-male power club. 

Surviving unwelcoming workplaces is something Rankin and countless other women have endured, and sadly, many still do today. And while women have always worked, it’s too often been in situations where they were underpaid, undervalued or not paid at all.

As we celebrate Women’s History Month, it’s important to acknowledge the low wages, poor working conditions and limited opportunities so many generations of women endured. 

But during this month we can also celebrate the fearless civic, labor and business innovators who knocked those barriers down for all the sisters and daughters who followed them. These women defied the social mores of their day by creating their own organizations and businesses that lifted working conditions and wages up for all women.

Rankin was one of those pioneers. In Congress, she was a leading force to secure the right to vote for women. She also went on to argue for a Constitutional amendment banning child labor, and fought for legislation establishing the first federal aid program created explicitly for women and children.

Unfortunately, the fights from 100 years ago are still being waged today. And it’s women who are still in the vanguard to secure quality, affordable health care, daycare and ensure voting rights are not weakened.

As we continue to fight these battles, it’s essential that we honor the women pioneers whose shoulders we stand upon. Understanding how women influenced the past can only inspire others to forge a better future for all of us.

Jeannette Rankin and countless others did just that, and this month we celebrate those achievements. Today more than ever, we can’t allow that trailblazing spirit to burn out.

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