Ohio Democratic Women's Caucus Women's Equality Day Reflection
Lawmakers stress the right to vote, equal pay still a goal

Today, Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus Chair and State Rep. Nickie J. Antonio (D-Lakewood) and State Rep. Connie Pillich (D-Montgomery) reflected on and celebrated national Women’s Equality Day.

“Women have had the right to vote for nearly one hundred years, but the fight to reach gender parity rallies on today,” said Rep. Antonio. “What’s so important to remember in this struggle  is that the  key to combating harmful state legislation, enacting pro-woman policies, and reaching gender equality lies in that fundamental right to vote.”

Women’s Equality Day was established in 1971 as a day to commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment, securing women’s right to vote. Since then, August 26 has served as a day to reflect on the strides and struggles of women to achieve parity in American society. Modern issues of Women’s Equality Day include affordable health care, violence against women, and the gender wage gap.

“On Women’s Equality Day, we reflect on how important it is that we level the playing field—not just for the sake of individual women, but for their families and for our economy,” said Rep. Pillich. “Enacting policies like the Ohio Equal Pay Act would signal to women that we value hard work, justice, and equal opportunity for all.”

In February, Rep. Pillich introduced the Ohio Equal Pay Act to close state loopholes that allow employers to engage in discriminatory gender-based pay practices. The legislation would bring Ohio in line with the federal Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, allowing women to take legal action against an employer practicing gender-based wage discrimination.

The Ohio House Democratic Women’s Caucus meets regularly to discuss issues concerning women. Their goal is to develop policies that enhance the livelihood of Ohio women, including fair pay, health initiatives, and the protection of women's rights.

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The Ohio State University’s College of Food, Agricultural and Environmental Sciences released the report “Taking Measure of Ohio’s Opioid Crisis” Tuesday, highlighting the grim realities many in the state are experiencing, but also making a case for greater treatment access and expanded educational and economic opportunities for Ohioans.

“This report confirms that treatment is necessary to stem the tide of this opioid crisis, and clearly we do not have enough treatment options currently available,” said Antonio. “We can do better. We must do better. Taxpayers deserve better economic opportunities, a strong and affordable educational foundation, and greater access to healthcare services – all things that we know will prevent opioid addiction and abuse.”

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