Women need to speak up on state policies by Nov. 1

An Open Letter from State Representative Karen St. Germain

In a recent report released by the Center for American Progress titled “The State of Women in America,” Louisiana was given an “F” and ranked 50th (dead last) among all states in an overall ranking on issues regarding economics, leadership and health for women based on 36 factors examined in the report.

According to the report, Louisiana is ranked:
• 44th in economic security—grade given “F”
• 40th in leadership—graded given “D-”

St. Germain

St. Germain

• 49th in health—grade given “F”

I would love to say the findings in the report were a surprise to me or the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus, but sadly I must admit that I was not surprised by the findings of disparities, substantial inequalities and lack of adequate progress for Louisiana women. As one of approximately 2.3 million women in Louisiana, the report is an overwhelmingly disheartening reminder of the challenging work and uphill battle, which must be fought and achieved for women in our great state in this day and age. The battle for the progress of women in Louisiana is an ongoing one for most women in most facets and junctures of their lives, whether it is in homes, roles as caregivers and breadwinners, corporate America, leadership roles, healthcare or the halls of the Louisiana Legislature.

Louisiana women deserve better and we must continue to empower ourselves to force changes within our own sphere of influence. I personally encourage every woman in Louisiana to voice their concerns to their own legislators and to the women legislators.

In my role as a state representative, I plan to discuss future legislation in the upcoming 2014 Regular Session regarding the findings detailed in the “State of Women in America” report. As chair of the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus, I will dialogue with my fellow 16 women legislators to discuss and identify policies, which we can collectively support for the betterment of women in our great state.

I invite every woman in Louisiana to read the report and to send their policy suggestions to me and my fellow women legislators at llwc@legis.la.gov. I welcome and invite their input. All policy suggestions must be received in the Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus Office by November 1, 2013.

By State Representative Karen St. Germain, Chair
Louisiana Legislative Women’s Caucus

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