Stand With Women
Is a growing movement bringing awareness to the core issues and policies that disproportionately impact women. Women’s issues are family issues from equal pay, to paid leave and reproductive rights, the effects of related policies are increasingly tied to the well-being, economic security and stability of our families.
Meet some of the courageous women below
Beatriz Leonor Martinez
Stafford resident Beatriz Leonor Martinez knows firsthand how it feels to work full time while being left behind in society. Ms. Martinez explained:
“I worked for many years as a child-care provider without the possibility of any benefits,” stated Ms. Martinez. “Not having the benefit of paid family leave is by far the most unfair and inhumane situation I have ever faced. As a mother, it was horrifying not being allowed to take time off to take care of my children when they were sick, or simply take care of myself when I got sick.
We are all humans, yet we are not treated like human beings. When a loved one is in pain and you are forced to work instead of spending time caring for the person you love, you fall into depression. Mentally, you are not at work. It’s hard to focus on the job, hence you end up not being productive at work; everyone losses in this situation.
We need policies that protect all workers in our society, including low-wage working women like me.”
María Guadalupe Guevara
As a mother of 6 children, María Guadalupe Guevara knows how important it is to advocate for policies that guarantee that women, who are central to our modern economy, have full and fair opportunities to succeed. When asked what’s the most important policy change she would like to see happen in Virginia, Ms. Guevara, a Stafford resident, responded:
“Without hesitation, I believe that having equal pay for equal work is vital to have a strong economy in Virginia. I want all my children to have the same opportunities to succeed. That means that my girls need to have the same opportunities for success as my boys. That’s what fairness is all about.
I think we need to upgrade our policies so more women can earn more money and have access to leadership positions. Let’s break the ceiling! I am committed to continuing working hard to ensure my daughters would become professionals and allow to earn as much as men in the same profession.”
Besy Girón gets fired up when people assumed that staying at home to care for her two children while also being pregnant is the easy road. This Stafford mom knows better. While her husband works to provide to the family, Ms. Girón is the one that keeps the family together and moving forward amid the complications of not having access to affordable day-care for her children so she could have a job too. As
explained by Ms. Girón:
“Childcare is incredibly expensive, easily to the 2 thousand dollar per month for two children, so it was best for me to leave my low-wage job and stay home with my children. But that also complicates our situation since my husband’s two low-paying jobs do not even provide health insurance, so we ended up with only one of us working making just enough for our basic needs. We in Virginia are in need of more leaders with common-sense who will see that equality for women must mean creating access of affordable and quality childcare.”
We have exemplary women in Virginia. Springfield resident Benita Rodriguez is certainly one of them. Ms. Rodriguez is the primary caretaker of her oldest daughter who has a mental disability along with her 7 year-old granddaughter. When asked how she felt about women rights in Virginia, Ms. Rodriguez stated:
“I work cleaning houses. And because I’m a low-wage worker living in a society that gets more expensive on a daily basis, I can tell you that our policies don’t protect working women like me; they instead protect companies that feed from people like me. Moreover, women work more than men. We have jobs and when we get home, we also work at home raising our families. I feel that we are an invisible part of the larger economy. We are not recognized the way we should. We need jobs that empower women and respect women. We need policies that invest in families and protect workingwomen.”