Girl Power: Organizations Launch Offense Against Threats to Women’s Rights

The groups say they make their voices heard in elections across the nation.

Posted: 03/01/2012 11:33 AM EST
2012 presidential election, Barack Obama, President Barack Obama, contraception, President Obama, Republican Party, 2012 election

Boys will be boys and sometimes those boys underestimate the power of women, particularly if they work on Capitol Hill or are running for president. So what began as a debate over contraception a few weeks ago is fast becoming a movement that could determine who will control Congress and the White House. A coalition of more than 50 women’s organizations that together form HERvotes, announced on Thursday a major, bipartisan and multicultural effort to mobilize women around the country to use their power at the polls to preserve and advance women’s rights.

Avis Jones-DeWeever, executive director of the National Council of Negro Women, said that it is particularly important that African-American women be involved with this movement because they have the most at stake, given how they’ve been disproportionately affected by economic issues.

“Black women in the 2008 election had the highest turnout and we voted for President Obama in higher numbers than any other demographic, including Black men,” she said. “We need to live up to that legacy…at every level of government to protect our families and our interests.”

Lisa Matz, public policy director for the American Association of University Women said that her organization plans to raise and spend more than $1 million dollars to get out the women’s vote, with a particular emphasis on Millennials.

“In this election season, not only is there an assault on so many women’s issues, but there’s absolutely a palpable buzz, whether it’s on twitter, the Internet, a college coffee house or local pub — women are mad,” she said. “We do not want you to touch our birth control; we want to make sure the Wisconsin legislature doesn’t rescind the Equal Pay Act; we’re tired of people in Virginia telling us what we can do with our bodies. And at the end of the day the best way to speak out is to vote.”

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(Photo: Courtesy HerVotes)

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