The past 3 days number among the most amazing in my life. In the company of more than 100 women leaders, we have discussed what barriers keep women from achieving complete, indisputable equality in every aspect of our lives.
This summer marked the 90th anniversary of women's suffrage in the USA. We have come a long way from that point, but we still cannot say we have equality with men. We still earn only 77 percent of our male counterparts, a number that has remained flat for several years now. The AAUW has a great map showing statistics state-by-state. My own state of Nebraska currently shows that women earn 76% of male salaries when all workers 16+ years of age are studied. Surely this gap goes away when those of us with higher education are the subject; but no, restricting the sample to those with college degrees aged 25 years and up shows women dropping to 72% of male wages. The worst wage-gap state is Alaska, where college-educated women earn only 64% of male salaries.
After days of discussions, 102 delegates from every state and the District of Columbia signed the Declaration of Equality:
This declaration, proclaimed by American women united in purpose,
commends to this nation the wisdom and oblicgation of achieving equality.
This declaration, inspired by the efforts of thse who have come before,
recognizes that although equality is in sight, it is not yet fully in place.
This declaration, dedicated to tenabling children to reach adulthood with full expectations
of equality, advances the belief that a true sharing of leadership and responsibility
among women and men will inspire an unprecedented dimension of American excellence.
- Without equality we cannot truly claim that we
the people, are fairly self-governed and free to pursue happiness.
- Equality is both a measure of our democracy
and its hallmark. It is the foremost feature of
justice and it is descriptive of our common humanity.
- There is an urgency to this matter
because equality delayed is opportunity denied.
This declaration, signed by willing hands pledged to devote their time, talent and tenacity to the fulfillment of all
that equality promises, is now submitted to the hearts, minds and collective conscience of the American people.
With faith in humanity, we resolve to fulfill the promise of our nation and the potential of American women.
Go to the web site and see the Declaration in its formatted beauty. Then, if you, too, believe that none of us are equal until all of us are equal, sign it via the electronic form. Show your support for our goal of true equality by 2020, the centennial of the 19th amendment. And keep in touch. Each of us delegates now have to devise an action project to help achieve these goals.
There is more fun ahead!