But today brings with it fantastic optimism because the real winner in the 2012 election was women!
- The 113th Congress will have a record-breaking 19 female senators, including the first openly gay senator! (To put that in perspective, it’s still only one-fifth of the Senate, so we have much work to do before women are equally represented.)
- New Hampshire likewise made history, electing the first all-women delegation – in the House, the Senate and the Governor’s office.
- Todd Akin – who famously said that the female body would prevent pregnancy caused by “legitimate rape” – and Richard Mourdock – who declared that pregnancy resulting from rape was a “gift from God” – were defeated.
Decisive wins across the United States affirmed progressive values, including major gay marriage wins in several states. After a year of relentless attacks on equal pay, reproductive health and everything in between, women have spoken. Fifty-three percent of votes were cast by women – higher than our actual proportion of the population. We voted on the issues most important to us – abortion, jobs, health care, the economy and equal pay.
Not surprisingly, those are also issues that the Ms. Foundation cares deeply about. While we celebrate the gains women made last night, I hope you will join us in addressing the unfinished business that remains.