By Senator, Lena C. Taylor
Throughout my entire career as a legislator, I have fought for women.
I have fought to ensure women have the power to make decisions about their own bodies; receive equal pay for equal work; and have adequate political representation.
It is my goal to make sure women; especially women of color have a voice at the tables of power.
Legislation has been an important tool to empower women and give them access to decision making positions and governing bodies.
In 2000, United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security laid the foundation for a global vision of lasting peace and women’s essential role in building that peace, especially in places where women have been actively excluded from leadership and decision-making.
UNSCR 1325 paved the path for a number of countries, including the United States, to create National Action Plans on Women, Peace, and Security.
Women’s Legislative Lobby (WLL), Women’s Action for New Directions (WAND) and the East-West Institute’s Parliamentarians Network for Conflict Prevention established a global coalition of U.S. women legislators has been at the forefront of fighting for women’s rights.
As a member of Women’s Legislative Lobby, I have had the chance to fight for women’s rights all over the globe.
This past week I had the opportunity to travel to Morocco as a member of a coalition of state legislators to advocate women’s rights, and identifying key areas of legislation that secure comprehensive rights for women.
Women play an important role the prevention and resolution of conflicts, peace negotiations, peace building, and peacekeeping.
It is important that women have equal participation and full involvement in all efforts for the maintenance and promotion of peace and security.
As women, we understand that “security” is not just about tanks and troops. True security only comes with human security – with equality, bodily integrity, safety, and access to economic opportunity, clean drinking water, food, healthcare, and shelter.
Women’s leadership is associated with lower poverty, higher economic growth, better nutrition and education of children, and other outcomes vital to the success of communities.
However, our government agencies repeatedly ignore women, especially in conflict affected environments. Women are particularly vulnerable to rape, enslavement, and other abuses.
The Only way to ensure that women are protected is to advance women’s meaningful participation and leadership in resolving violent conflict, eliminating gender-based violence, guaranteeing equal access to humanitarian aid in crisis situations, and all matters of peace and security globally.