AAUW Gives Thanks

November 27, 2008

Last week, I took my son on a brief pre-Thanksgiving trip to visit my elderly parents in Kansas City. I took the trip in part to discuss my parents’ retirement finances, to check on their health and benefits, and to assess their physical living environment. Thankfully, life is pretty stable on all fronts for them right now, and I am truly grateful.

As I sit down to stuff my face with turkey and cherry pie today, I will continue to reflect on what I am personally grateful for this year: that the election is finally over, that my 401K is down only 48 percent, that my luggage has finally arrived at my destination, that gas is less than $2.00 per gallon, and so much (seriously) more.

But what does AAUW have to be grateful for this year? Here are a few thoughts from AAUW’s Action Network:

We’re thankful for coaches in California and Florida, students in Colorado, and moms in Michigan who insist on holding colleges and high schools accountable on Title IX.

We’re thankful for NCAA President Myles Brand, who recently told colleges and universities not to blame cuts to athletic programs on Title IX.

We’re thankful that the House of Representatives recognized the importance of women in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields, and that AAUW is undertaking a major research project on the topic.

We’re thankful for AAUW state and branch affiliates nationwide that registered new voters, held candidate nights and issues forums, advocated on statewide ballot initiatives, and generally ensured that women’s voices were heard in this year’s election.

We’re thankful for states that heed the research on comprehensive sex education and choose to reject federal abstinence-only funding.

We’re thankful for presidential debates that bring issues like school vouchers and pay equity into the spotlight.

We’re thankful for AAUW’s good friend Lilly Ledbetter, the Face of Pay Equity, for putting pay equity issues on the national stage at the Democratic National Convention, in congressional hearings, and on Capitol Hill.

We’re thankful for cities and states that show their support for working families by passing paid family leave and paid sick days legislation before the federal government gets around to it.

We’re thankful that AAUW gained special consultative status at the United Nations with the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

We’re thankful for 30 years of civil rights law that helps women to fight the “motherhood penalty.”

We’re thankful that Roe v. Wade has survived 35 years of Supreme Court ups and downs.

We’re thankful for the AAUW Capitol Hill Lobby Corps, whose persistent and thoughtful volunteer advocacy helped pass bills on pay equity and higher education and held lawmakers accountable on their votes.

We’re thankful for a new federal law that ensures health plans provide the same coverage for mental illness as they would for any other health condition.

We’re thankful for AAUW’s merry band of bloggers and all those contributing to the fruitful public discourse on AAUW Dialog.

We’re thankful that Americans who were previously deemed “not disabled enough” will benefit once again from protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

We’re thankful for improved federal aid programs that help students — including our honored veterans — make the dream of a college education a reality.

We’re thankful for girls who see themselves as advocates, and college students working to make the world a better place.

We’re thankful for courageous women who break through the brass ceiling, the glass ceiling, and the marble ceiling.

We’re thankful for AAUW members and supporters who put their money where their mouth is, generously giving time and resources to help women get their degrees and develop leadership skills.

So, how about you? What are you thankful for this year?

By:   |   November 27, 2008

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