Despite a busy week of campaigning for Governor of NJ, I need to take a few minutes to stand with women who are walking off the job and out of classes in A Day Without a Woman as part of today’s International Women’s Strike.
Long before the UN General Assembly declared March 8th International Women’s’ Day in 1975, women fighting for a just world have coordinated mobilizations for women’s rights. It was on February 28, 1909, when woman socialists and suffragettes came together calling for equal rights for women in a National Woman’s Day. Within a few years women seeking justice in dozens of countries joined. Today, more than 100 years later, International Women’s Day is celebrated in over 100 countries.
But so much has still not changed. The 2015 census indicated women in New Jersey earned 69.8 cents to the dollar earned by men, even less than the 72 cents to men’s dollar nationally.
In January, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) introduced legislation (H.R. 7) seeking to strip low-income women of their right to choose by cutting taxpayer funding of abortions. His bill was passed by the Trumpian House as a slap in the faces of the millions of women and solidarity-minded men who mobilized in D.C., across the country and around the globe on January 21, 2017.
In 2017, so many Democrats are failing to stand up to stop the runaway train driven by the Republican Party and their madman in the White House. But women have continued mobilizing around the world to say enough is enough.
As I am a pastor running for Governor, you may think I oppose funding Planned Parenthood and your right to choose. You would be wrong. Part of my job as a pastor, I believe, is to open my eyes, my ears and my heart to what is right and struggle to make justice a reality here on Earth. I plan to take my commitment of struggle to the Statehouse. As Governor I will do everything in my power to see women have the right to quality healthcare and control over their own bodies, regardless of their income, documented or undocumented. I will seek ways to punish companies paying women less for the same work as a man. I am not in the pocket of Wall Street and, like you, I need to work for a living. I don’t want to get your back; I stand by your side.
While I hope you will check out my website to support my campaign, more importantly on this March 8, I want you to know I am with you in our struggle for equality and justice.
The Last are First
Kaper-Dale for Governor, Green Party