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Ormond Beach Observer Friday, Jan. 27, 2017 1 year ago

Why I marched: An Ormond Beach woman's views about the state of women's rights — and human rights

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Nancy Neeb shares her motivation for marching.

By Nancy Neeb

Guest Writer

On Saturday, Jan. 21,I marched in the Women’s March on Washington’s sister march in New Smyrna Beach. Before I went, several people asked why. Some even suggested there was no need since women have equal rights today. So I thought I would write to let people know why I and many of us marched, including women who supported Trump, Hillary and Bernie.

For me, it wasn’t “against” any one candidate, person or party. It was “for” issues that we fought so hard to achieve and are now being threatened.

For me, it wasn’t “against” any one candidate, person or party. It was “for” issues that we fought so hard to achieve and are now being threatened. My sign read “Women’s Rights = Human Rights,” and it is from this perspective that I participated. So what are women’s rights?

Let’s talk economics

As a woman, I am supportive of an equal wage for equal work. Not just for women but for all. This includes a wage that is truly a living wage. I am concerned about equal opportunity for all. I’m concerned about trade, the isolation of America, and the impact of our economy in a global marketplace. I’m concerned about business owners being paid for the work they perform without having to litigate.

Let’s talk education

As a woman and mother, I am concerned about children receiving a quality education so they can compete and succeed in life. I’m concerned about equal education for all, not just the rich that can afford private school, but every child in every neighborhood with the same access to quality teachers, technology, safety, etc. I’m concerned about access to schools for children with disabilities based on a federal law, not the whim of a state. Better salaries for teachers. And, testing for growth, not proficiency.

Let’s talk health care

As a woman I am concerned about laws that restrict my ability to control my body.  This goes beyond the right of free choice. This includes access to medicine for female-related illnesses. This includes access no matter where you live: city or rural areas. This includes how affordable medical treatment is, coverage for pre-existing conditions, free wellness checkups so we can save money by catching things quickly and receiving treatment, coverage for children born with disabilities, etc. Health savings accounts are great, but someone living on the edge of poverty can’t put money into an HSA to save up for medical costs. “Affordable access” does not equate to providing coverage to everyone. It leaves the lower- and middle-class people with options they cannot afford, since “affordable” is relative to how much you earn. I’m concerned about mental health issues, teenage suicide, and drug addiction that needs to be addressed, funded, and raised to a level that they are represented.

Let’s talk about immigration

As a woman, I am concerned about those women and their children who were brought here by their parents years ago, have been model citizens, are contributors to our society and are now threatened with being deported with families torn apart (in spite of data that supports that illegal immigration has declined significantly). I’m concerned about a segment of our society arbitrarily being singled out due to religious beliefs — we’ve seen how this has gone in history.

Let’s talk about security

As a woman I’m concerned about gun safety – no, not the taking away of anyone’s right to own a gun, but the safety measures to ensure they don’t fall in the wrong hands through background checks, etc. I’m concerned about ISIS and how to successfully fight against them – which includes the relationship with our global partners, troops that are put in harm’s way, and the threat and use of nuclear weapons. I’m concerned about civil rights and the best judicial system we can have. I’m concerned about how to improve the relationship between police and communities across the country.

I could go on, but you see that “women’s right” are indeed “human rights.” The rights we have today were not given to us. They were fought for by the Founding Fathers, civil rights groups, women activists, and so on through the history of our country. Fought by men and women combined from both political parties. So, why did I march? I marched so those efforts were not in vain.

Nancy Neeb has lived in Ormond Beach for the past 17 years. She also marched in the 1960s in New York City. She is currently a management consultant.

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