Women in politics are #winning.
This week, women broke barriers all over the country, from the Oval Office to the U.S. Army. Find out more in this week’s edition of That’s What She Said!
Capt. Kristen Griest and 1st Lt. Shaye Haver became legends this week. New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand praised the first two women to graduate the Army special operations unit on Friday. The Pentagon said they won't make the final decision on whether to allow women to hold combat roles until the end of the year. The two newest U.S. Army operatives said they are “happy, relieved, and ready for some good food and sleep.” And, the sleep will be well-deserved. Griest and Haver finished in a class that started with almost 400, including 17 other women. Only 96 made it to graduation.
Equal pay for women may be the only position the leading presidential frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump see eye-to-eye on. Clinton’s view on wage inequality is clear: she wants to break the "highest, hardest glass ceiling." In a similar tone on Thursday, Trump told msnbc’s "Morning Joe" hosts Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough wage inequality is “very dangerous.” Presumably teasing, the straight-shooting entrepreneur told the morning show host Brzezinski he would pay her "so much more" than Scarborough.
3. Laverne Cox
Laverne Cox gave a shout-out to Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, the first openly transgender White House official who started her newly appointed position at the Oval Office this week. Transgender rights activists praised #POTUS for appointing her as the new director of outreach and recruitment. With just over 500 days left in office, President Obama has done more than any U.S. president to expand rights for the LGBT community. Kudos to him.
Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) took a very similar stance on opposing the Iran nuclear deal as two of her outspoken party counterparts, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY). Her stance against the deal comes as Republicans and some Democrats want Congress to reject the deal President Obama has steadfastly been pushing. Congress has to vote on the deal by September, but some speculate Obama may act on his own to push his legacy deal forward.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-NY) pushed The Schedules That Work Act which would make it hard for employers to schedule workers as “on call” and even compensate workers for last-minute schedule changes. The bill, introduced by Warren, would impact retail, restaurant and building cleaning workers. Many other employers like Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap, and Starbucks have taken steps to bring more “stability and consistency” when coordinating employee hours.
Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) backed the Justice Department's recent efforts to make it harder to criminalize the homeless, tweeting that she was "happy" to see the department getting involved. A statement by the DOJ could change the way cities regulate and punish the homelessness. In a statement, weighing in on a Boise, Idaho's anti-camping ordinance, the DOJ argued that it is unconstitutional to ban a homeless person from sleeping outside. The DOJ called it “cruel and unusual,” according to the Eighth Amendment.
It’s been about 500 days since the mass kidnapping of hundreds of Nigerian schoolgirls by Boko Haram. Rep. Fredrica Wilson (D-FL) brought awareness to the Global Week of Action aimed at recognizing the schoolgirls kidnapped in 2014. Although, the popular hashtag #BringBackOurGirls was used to raise awareness by many worldwide, the challenge to find the missing girls continues.
GOP presidential candidate Jeb Bush doesn't regret his use of the term "anchor babies" when referring to immigrants, and neither does Donald Trump. Many have found the term offensive, with some recommending an alternative word choice, like U.S. citizen for example. And, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz seems to agree.
Kerry Washington has been known to lend a helping hand on and off the screen. The "Scandal" star is teaming up with musicians and world leaders to host next month's Global Citizen Festival in New York's Central Park. The goal: to end global poverty. (Psst: That's just two days before the upcoming season of "Scandal" starts.)
10. Women Deliver
The nonprofit advocate group Women Deliver expressed concern for underage girls living in developing countries that are forced to marry before 18 years old. Surprisingly, the answer to solving this age-old tradition is only one goat in Tanzania and two chickens in Ethiopia. Yes, you read that correctly. The animals would make it less likely for girls to be sold into marriage by their families, according to research conducted by Population Council. Although, the tradition of families marrying young girls off for money is not a new concept, the group poses an excellent question. Can livestock really change that?
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