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New York Has Finally Created A Council For Women & Girls



Although “Council on Women and Girls” might not sound as catchy or dramatic as “Council on the Arts” or “Council of Educational Associations,” it’s an organization that’s been a long time coming. In fact, it’s hard to believe that it’s only been created now in 2017.

The New York Council on Women and Girls organization is the first of its kind to focus on tackling women’s rights, such as the wage gap and reproductive limitations. According to Elite Daily, Melissa DeRosa, who acts as the council’s chair, revealed that this organization began to take form when Donald Trump was first elected.

DeRosa stated, “I think the idea for this has been more or less in process since Donald Trump was elected president in November. I remember the very scary interview he gave for 60 Minutes when asked about abortion. He said, ‘Well, if women have to drive across state lines, then do be it.'”

If this is what the POTUS believes, then we definitely need this council. It’s about time. After all, why should a council of all men decide on women’s rights? For Pete’s sake, some of them don’t know how periods even work.

The big reveal of this new council had the best timing. The formation of The New York State Council on Women and Girls was announced during the 100th Anniversary of legalized women’s suffrage in New York. According to DeRosa, the council plans on fixing areas where women and girls can fight against gender imbalances in schools, workplaces, and everywhere in-between.

She added, “We enacted regulations that said contraception has to be covered in New York regardless of what happens at the federal level. We introduced legislation to codify Roe v. Wade into the New York State Constitution. We pushed pay equity. There are a series of different things we’ve done on a policy level to speak to women’s rights and sort of combat what was happening in Washington.”

Supposedly the council was formed in response to reports that the White House planned on scrapping President Barack Obama’s Council on Women and Girls. Hope Hicks, a White House spokeswoman, called it “redundant.”

I fail to see how it’s redundant when you see women’s oppression on the news every day.

DeRosa clapped back and said that “we’re sick and tired of this administration throwing women’s rights under theĀ Access Hollywood bus. If they’re going to abandon us at the federal level, then we’re going to take it up here in New York.”

It gets even better. The council is completely open to talking with the public. And no, I don’t mean Trump’s idea of lashing out on Twitter. DeRosa plans on opening up conversations on social media platforms and hosting open forums throughout New York. You don’t need a degree in law and politics to be heard. The average citizen can voice their questions and concerns. DeRosa even encourages teens to participate.

Their first official meeting is slated for the middle of September, in which all its members will convene. DeRosa, who also acts as Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Secretary, hopes to deliver a package of legislation that he can “consider going into the next legislative session.”

I have high hopes for The New York Council on Women and Girls. The bar is definitely set high and the road will be difficult, but the first step is always the hardest to take. DeRosa is fully aware that change cannot happen overnight, but she is determined to weather the fight. I implore anyone, regardless of your gender or age, to join in and support this council. Our voices deserve to be heard.

    A writer by day and a reader by night, and if you say the words "free" and "food" together I'm there.