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“Equality Day” Aims to Inspire Women to Vote, Run, Get Involved

August 27, 2007

Marking the 87th anniversary of women’s right to vote, Wisconsin’s “Equality Day” celebration tomorrow encourages women to vote, run for office, and get involved in public life. State Department of Public Instruction Secretary Elizabeth Burmaster is speaking tomorrow in Madison. She believes Wisconsin has traditionally been a leader when it comes to women in politics.

"We need women civically engaged, because it’s that diversity, diversity in gender, race, ethnicity, age, that’s what really strengthens our democracy."

Burmaster says Wisconsin women in politics are role models for the next generation. She notes four women on the State Supreme Court, two in Congress, and seven in statewide elected offices. Wisconsin was the first state to ratify the 19th amendment, which gave women the vote in 1920.

Nora Cusack with the Wisconsin Women’s Network says, when it comes to issues like health care, equal pay, child care, and reproductive choice, women can make a big difference by getting involved.

"We have to nurture young women at an early age, educate them about the importance of their participation, and enable them to see how public participation influences their life."

The Madison event takes place at 4:30 just off the Capitol Square.

Rob Ferrett/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - WI