This Thanksgiving, the Ms. Foundation for Women is giving thanks for the transformative gains for our nation and democracy at large in 2012.
After a year filled with contentions over women’s health, immigrant rights and civil liberties, we’re celebrating a few key victories. Gay marriage wins in several states, modifications to the Dream Act, upholding of health care reform and the election of the most diverse Congress are all reasons we’re thankful.
The constitutional ruling in support of health care reform was a major relief for women and a celebratory gain for Americans. Under the new health care law, being a woman is no longer considered a pre-existing condition! The benefits of the law go further; key women's preventive care now includes birth control, well-woman visits, breastfeeding supplies, domestic violence counseling and more, at no extra cost. This is a huge win that will provide millions of women with access to the care they need to stay healthy.
The newfound diversity of the 113th Congress is also remarkable. Our nation gained four new African-American representatives, 10 new Latinos and five new Asian Americans. A record one in five senators will be women, the first openly gay congressman of color has been elected and our new Congress is more religiously diverse. The first two Hindu congresspeople, the first Buddhist senator and the first non-theist have all been elected. Progressive values have reached a new level—the election of four new LGBTQ congresspeople, including the first openly bisexual congresswoman, provides reason to cheer this holiday season. These changes reflect the growing diversity of our nation, our politics and our commitment to eliminating barriers that create injustice.
The progress made in the past year can be attributed to years of hard work at the state and community level. While we are thankful for this progress, there’s more to do in the fight for women’s equality. With your help we’re doing it, and we won’t stop until all women’s rights are secured across the U.S. Thank you to all our supporters, allies and grantees—we couldn’t do the great work we do without you.