• Fatima Dirie

My Thoughts on Women's Rights

Updated: Jun 6, 2020

We have a lot of work to do here in Utah. A study released last year in August found that Utah women make only 69.8% of what Utah men make. This is 10% lower than the national average, and is the worst gender wage gap in the nation. It’s even worse for women of color. Hispanic women in Utah will earn less than half of what white men earn, and that’s 20% points lower than the wage gap between white men and white women. This is unacceptable, and when I am elected I will fight aggressively to pursue meaningful legislation to close that gap.

My professional career has been based around connecting people to the resources available to them, and I want to continue to do that work for women in the legislature. Our government should be offering more resources to women in regards to access to childcare and maternity leave, and I want to fight to make sure we are providing women with the opportunity to succeed in their careers. I want to lower the cost of childcare and introduce legislation to offer women the opportunity to get assistance in both finding and paying for more childcare options. Education has always been critical for my development, and I want to make sure young girls are offered the same opportunities I was that helped shape me into the woman I am today. The conversation also needs to include healthcare. Our teen pregnancy rates are far too high by any measure, and lowering them requires an increase in education and intervention services. We need to lower the cost of and improve access to women’s healthcare. Far too often we see men debating how women should handle their bodies, and I think it’s time we had more women included in that conversation, don’t you?

Finally, I want to address the issue of sexual harassment in the workplace and the horrible stories we have seen in the news recently about sexual assault on college campuses. We have a lot of work to do here in professional and educational fields to protect women, as illustrated by the very public increases of domestic violence incidences and the Department of Educations new directives to bolster the rights of individuals accused of sexual assault on campus. We need to work to protect women, and I want to help connect women with resources available to them to help stop situations that can often lead to the loss of their jobs or even their lives.

In conclusion, our history and our present reality calls for us to elevate women to an equal place as men. We must be better, and we must fight to close the gender wage gap, to offer women more options in childcare, to lower the cost of healthcare, and to protect women wherever they thrive. Addressing this issue requires a woman’s touch, and I think it’s time we use our votes to make sure the kind of representation that will advocate for these issues and more is found in the Utah State House of Representatives. Don’t you?

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