LULAC: International Women’s Day Is A Time For Equity And Justice
Nation’s Oldest and Largest Latino Civil Rights Organization Says Latinas Have Earned Their Place at The Table
Dear LULAC Family,
This Sunday, March 8, 2020, we join the world in celebrating International Women’s Day. This year’s theme is, “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights”. Women have always played an important role in LULAC and today we hear from three leaders who share what today means to them:
Dr. Elba Garcia - First Lady of LULAC
“This is a day to celebrate women’s achievements throughout history and what makes 2020 even more important is that this year we are celebrating the centennial of women’s right to vote! Women’s contributions can best be acknowledged by paying them equal to what men earn for doing the same job. As a Latina, I can’t believe that 57 years after the Equal Pay Act was enacted into law, we are still the ones that get paid the least. Ultimately, we need to continue to elect more women who will promote and enforce laws regarding gender equality and I intend to continue fighting for it.”
Sindy Benavides - National Chief Executive Officer, LULAC
“We are living in a time when courageous women are boldly running for elected office and yet others still struggle to feed and clothe their children --- such is the inequity that we must confront and resolve in our nation. If we are to be a symbol of hope to the world, we must be so for all, irrespective of our gender and we must begin here at home and we must do so now!
This is not a struggle solely over a decimal point in a row of numbers on a paycheck. Rather, it is about rewarding dignity earned by the lineage of generations of women in America. We have stood proudly and paid with the sweat of our foreheads, the bleeding of our calloused hands and the aching of our tired bodies without complaint for this country, during peace and during war. Our struggle is not about a dollar sign; rather, it is about a sign of respect for women --- wives, daughters, sisters, mothers --- all worthy in whatever industry, profession, trade or task they have chosen or have been forced by circumstances to accept.
On this International Women’s Day, we say together, from the social injustice, FREE US! From the misogyny that some use to try and limit us, FREE US! And from the abuse that some of us endure daily even from those closest to us, dear God, FREE US! We are tired of the failed promises but we will not yield. We are desperate for relief, but we will not be despondent. Yes, we are deserving of far better and we are determined to achieve it! This is our outcry to the world and we will be heard.”
Elsie Valdes - National Vice-President for Women
“The women of Puerto Rico, like women throughout the United States, are a major part of the very backbone that defines the strength of our country. We are as capable, as hardworking and possess the same or greater tolerance to endure the sacrifices required to sustain ourselves and our families. We, the women of Puerto Rico on the island, have suffered and survived a great deal of loss and heartache through two devastating natural disasters of historic proportions since 2017 and yet, here we are! May this International Women’s Day remind the world that we are the ones blessed to be the birth givers. And while we may toil from dawn to dusk both outside and within our homes to help provide for our needs today, our greatest hope is for tomorrow and a planet that is healthy so that our children and their children will be allowed live and prosper in peace and well-being. This is the greatest gift that could be bestowed upon women worldwide.”
The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit https://lulac.org/