(ThySistas.com) The election season is quickly coming upon us and you may have noticed there’s a lot of talk about the Women’s Vote. That’s because women make up 51% of the population of which a paltry 7% is black. The good news is that most black women live in cities and towns that have a significant black presence that can influence policy. It’s important that we vote in people who understand and will fight for the laws that specifically affect us or risk having our voices drowned out of the electorate completely. Here are a few good reasons why you should take a good hard look at voting.
1. Women’s Rights are always being threatened by the policy makers. Laws that would seem untouchable, simply by moral standards, are still considered negotiable. Violence Against Women Act, a law that provides financing for services to women who are victims of domestic and sexual violence have been severely reduced in financing and scope in recent years. Domestic violence is a crime that disproportionately affects women of color. It’s easier to demand that laws like VAWA be strengthened when the numbers show that the black community is politically engaged.
2. Women’s Right to Work has seen a shift in direction that focuses on the modern family. Many of the current policies around family still don’t take the responsibilities of women into account. While progress is being made around what defines gender roles, women still remain the majority of primary care givers. Childcare,
3. Women’s Right to Education can use an over haul. Black women are the largest holders of advanced academic degrees, they are also the highest holders of student loan debt and still the least likely to be employed in their fields. The two are a lethal combination that make the investment in education risky. Voting for candidates who understand that student loans and the cost of college is important to our financial fitness and the success of future generations.
4. Women’s Access to Health is not Negotiable! Policy makers just don’t seem to understand that. Regardless of where you are on the income spectrum, access to contraceptives, regular checkups and preventative healthcare is often put front and center as company rights versus women’s rights. There is no such standard for men and we still have to fight for full equality. For the poorest women in our nation, many who are women of color, there only access is subsidized and yet plans to close down centers constantly creep into the political debate.
5. It is our Right and We Have a Duty to Exercise it! Many black men and women died to give us the right to vote. They died so that we could one day walk and sit freely, so that we could vote in people to represent us and present laws that advance our cause. It is our duty in the time that we are living, with such strong hostilities against the black community, that we get lawmakers who are going to pass laws to suppress the acts of violence and criminalization that happen within our communities. We can make progress, but we have to fight both outside and within the political system.
There are many more reasons to vote and some maybe personal others maybe about being conscious of the larger community, whatever your reasons, be sure to vote and encourage all the women in your life to protect our right and get out to vote!
Staff Writer; Elisha Walker