In South Carolina, women don't fare very well. Whether it is health care, employment, violence, education, reproductive rights... you know what I mean. And in spite of all the anti-abortion verbiage about protecting women, pregnant women, babies and children remain vulnerable.
On Thursday, September 1, Charleston County Democratic Women will hold its first meeting after the summer hiatus. The featured speaker will be Jane Perdue of the Center for Women, founded in 1990, and which mission is "Dedicated to empowering and enriching women in their private and public lives."
The end goal is to increase the presence of women professionally and in elected office. But to get there, so many things have to change. Our daughters need to be healthy, well-fed and well educated. They need to live in homes and walk through neighborhoods that are safe. As they grow older, they need to have the same opportunities for higher education, employment and economic growth as men, and all those criteria need to cut across race as well.
In South Carolina, preterm birth rate is 4th highest in the nation; while the infant mortality rate has declined, there is a dramatic racial divide. With the state's continued refusal to expand Medicaid, women and children continue to experience the harmful results. Last year, attacks on Planned Parenthood threatened to shut down a valuable source of women's health care. Control of our reproductive health means control of emotional and economic well-being. South Carolina ranks #1 in violence against women. We are still debating whether or not to allow our schools to provide medically accurate sex education to students.
What all the above means is that here in South Carolina, girls and women are faced with constant hurdles to living a good life.
The Center for Women addresses each of these issues with education and advocacy.
The year of our first woman president should be the year we move the girls and women of South Carolina into the 21st century.
Please go to the Charleston County Democratic Women Facebook page and say you will attend this important meeting on Thursday, September 1, at the Holiday Inn. Men are welcome, because what improves the lives of women improves all our lives. Registration is at 6, the buffet dinner is $20.00. And please take the opportunity to become a member.
I look forward to seeing you there.