By Reps. Lois Capps (D-Calif.) and Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) - 01/15/08 06:43 PM EST
The start of the new year gives us the chance, as co-chairwomen of the Congressional Women’s Caucus, to remind people of the influential role of women.
In the 2008 election, women will cast more than half of the votes. That shouldn’t surprise anyone — already women manage more than half of household incomes, control more than half the money in the New York Stock Exchange and make most of the healthcare decisions in the family. All while trying to do what each of us does everyday — balance work and family life.
When we took over the Women’s Caucus last year, we did so at a historic time. We saw the inauguration of the first female Speaker of the House. We have a record number of women serving in the House of Representatives, 73 in all.
And, women serve as the chairwomen or ranking members on 33 House committees or subcommittees.
In 2007, working together, we were able to pass legislation that honored International Women’s Day, protected genetic information nondiscrimination, honored the important role the Girl Scouts play in helping young girls, and celebrated the anniversary of Title IX. In addition, we continued to bring attention to important women’s health issues such as breast cancer and cervical cancer.
In 2008, we want to build on what we started last year. The Women’s Caucus isn’t Republican or Democrat but instead works with both parties to advance what is important to women and families.
This year we want to enhance math and science education so that it encourages more young people, especially girls, to pursue these fields. Because heart disease is the number one killer of women, we want to pass the Heart Disease Education, Analysis, Research and Treatment (HEART) for Women Act, and we want to bring attention to the need to improve maternal health here at home and around the world.
We are mothers, grandmothers, wives, sisters and daughters and are committed to solving problems that affect all generations of women no matter where they live. We look forward to building on the success we’ve had in 2007, and look forward to bringing more attention and solutions to issues that impact women and families during the coming year.
Capps is a member of the Energy and Commerce, and Natural Resources, committees. McMorris Rodgers is a member of the Education and Labor Committee.
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