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Post Election: Women Are Stronger Together

Advocates for women's rights say now is the time to mobilize at the grassroots level. (
Advocates for women's rights say now is the time to mobilize at the grassroots level. (
November 10, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Hillary Clinton lost in her bid to become the first female president of the United States, something advocates say would have advanced women's rights regardless of race, religion or political affiliation.

Marilyn Katz, founder of Chicago Women Take Action, says now that Donald Trump has been elected, advocates need to redouble their efforts at the grassroots level, because half of the country thinks some of the messages about women and minorities that came up during Trump's campaign were OK.

"Bangladesh, India, Israel, Britain have had women leaders, and here we are supposedly the most democratic country in the world and it's 2016, and the woman who runs for office is not only defeated but really vilified," she points out.

Katz says she doubts issues that are important to women will see much advancement in a Trump administration, but she believes women should take this time to become activists and speak out on issues such as equal pay, child care and reproductive rights.

Nancy Kaufman, president of the National Council of Jewish Women, says a lot of disparaging remarks were made about women and minorities during Trump's campaign, and instead of moping about his win, women need to get politically active.

"We have to continue to work for the issues and values that we hold dear,” she stresses. “I think some of our battles may move to the state where we think we can make some progress in preserving the rights of women to control their own reproductive health."

K. Sujata, president and CEO of Chicago Foundation for Women, says groups such as hers already have seen an increase in membership. She says because of social media, people can mobilize even if they don't live close to each other.

"Social media has really given up an opportunity to talk to each other from wherever we live and work,” she points out. “And I think this is where we can band together, whether we live in rural or urban areas."

Veronica Carter, Public News Service - IL