Strengthening the State of Women

Strengthening the State of Women

by Liz Shuler, Secretary-Treasurer of AFL-CIO 

In 2016, women are rising to the top in every field and industry, and breaking down boundaries that held former generations back.

There is no denying progress has been made, but being a working woman still comes with enormous challenges. Our paychecks remain unequal and many of us lack a single day of paid leave. Work schedules are equal parts unpredictable and inflexible and we too often face discrimination on the job. That’s why I am excited to be joining 5,000 women at the United State of Women Summit [today]. Together, we can come up with solutions that will allow women to keep moving forward.

As Secretary-Treasurer of the AFL-CIO, I am constantly in awe of the powerful work the 6.8 million women of the labor movement do to advance issues that matter to our mothers, sisters and daughters. Women like Ariana Davis, a member of the United Food and Commercial Workers, who will be joining me on stage [today] to share her story.

Ariana is a young activist from Washington state who has been fighting for fundamental changes like better wages and benefits that will vastly improve the lives of hard working families. She is leading the charge to raise the minimum wage in Washington state to a living wage and to provide every working woman and man with paid sick days.

Ariana knows that when unions are strong, women are strong. She represents not only the future of the labor movement, but the future of our entire country. Young workers, immigrants, women, LGBT people and communities of color are coming together to advance changes that will improve our lives.

Thanks to the bravery and hard work of Ariana and millions of other working women, the impossible is becoming possible. Cities and states across the country are increasing the minimum wage and legislation is being passed to provide working women and men with paid sick days and paid leave. And this is just the beginning.

Women fight and win battles every day. By standing and negotiating together, we will continue to make the world a better place for all of us.

You can watch today's events live at the United State of Women website beginning at 11:30 a.m. or add your voice to the conversation online by using #stateofwomen on social media.

Cross post from Medium