OPINION | As a Republican, I stand for equality for women in America
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Nearly a century has passed since American women were guaranteed a long-denied fundamental right through the 19th Amendment: the right to vote. Women have since come to represent more than half of the nation’s vote and play critical roles in every industry and occupation, in both the public and private sectors, using their voices to push for equality.

My grandmother Lenore and mother Ronna were two women who did just that, both of whom ran Senate campaigns and spent their lives encouraging other women to get involved in politics. Inspired by their passion, I have made it my own mission to seek out and offer support to women across the country considering their own run for public office.

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Today, as we celebrate Women’s Equality Day, let us reflect on the examples set by the women who have risen above discrimination, broken barriers and offered solutions to the challenges we share as a society. I look to my colleagues and see exactly this. Women at the Republican National Committee hold the majority of senior leadership positions and play irreplaceable roles in shaping the direction of our party.

 

You can look to Elise Stefanik, the youngest woman ever elected to the House of Representatives and a vocal member of the House Armed Services Committee. Look to Nikki HaleyNimrata (Nikki) HaleyOvernight Defense: Trump tries to quell Russia furor | GOP looks to reassure NATO | Mattis open to meeting Russian counterpart Dem pollster: Haley would be 'very strong' presidential candidate Watchdog: First lady spokeswoman may have violated Hatch Act with ‘MAGA’ tweet MORE, whose outspoken leadership at the United Nations helped secure a unanimous vote to place sanctions on North Korea. Look to Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson, who oversees the service in charge of two-thirds of the nation’s nuclear deterrent.

Look to research scientist Joyce Jacobson Kaufman, renowned for advancing the field of quantum chemistry. Look to Marillyn Hewson, chief executive officer of Lockheed Martin, who has worked with the president to identify innovative solutions that optimize the nation’s investments in defense. Look to the hardworking mothers across the nation, our society’s unsung heroes, who work in and outside the home to balance family life and community engagement.

These women show us that we are not limited by our differences or bound by the lie that we must accept the status quo. As we pause to recognize their achievements, we must also honor them by doing what it takes to ensure the government serves the needs of the women who will follow in these pioneers’ footsteps.

The Republican Party has a vision to lift up women of all backgrounds, and we understand that we have much more work ahead of us to make this a reality. We will get there through policies that create jobs and a more competitive American economy, by eliminating burdensome regulations to encourage economic growth, by offering high quality, affordable healthcare options, by advocating for paid family leave and equal pay and by empowering each woman to pursue her own version of the American dream.

Much of this work must begin in our families and communities as we educate young girls and encourage them to pursue their passions. It must continue in our schools and higher education as these institutions better support women who choose to enter the sciences and technical fields.

It remains a focus for President Trump and his administration, as they are hard at work investing in and advocating greater opportunities for women and girls in their communities. Ivanka Trump and Education Secretary Betsy DeVosElizabeth (Betsy) Dee DeVosDon’t worry (too much) about Kavanaugh changing the Supreme Court Overnight Defense: Fallout from tense NATO summit | Senators push to block ZTE deal in defense bill | Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to run Afghan war Blackwater founder makes new pitch for mercenaries to take over Afghan war MORE launched a joint effort to encourage young girls to break barriers to building careers in the traditionally male-dominated fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

While we are grateful for the path cleared for us by the women who came before us, we must not lose sight of the work still to be done to make equality a reality for women here and around the world. This is a fight I brought with me from Michigan to Washington, D.C., and it is a fight I will pass along to the future generations of leaders I work with every day in our nation’s capital.

Ronna McDaniel is chairwoman of the Republican National Committee.


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