NEWARK, N.J. -- U.S. Senator Cory Booker hosted a roundtable discussion with women stakeholders in his office in Newark to mark Women's History Month. Leaders from across the state joined Senator Booker to discuss their priorities and voice the need to defend women's rights.
"We have made tremendous strides in the fight for gender equality, but there is still much work to be done," said Senator Booker. "I am so grateful to the women who joined me today to discuss the various and systemic issues women face in all walks of life, from healthcare, to workplace discrimination, to women's prison conditions."
"I cannot think of a better way to celebrate Women's History Month than with a Senator who has done so much for all types of women, including the women who have been affected by the crisis of mass incarceration in America. Senator Booker has been at the forefront of reforming our criminal justice system and has helped enact real change through his work in the Senate on the First Step Act and now, continues to push the movement forward with the Next Step Act. I look forward to continuing to work with him to restore the dignity for incarcerated women," said Gale Mohammed, from Women Who Never Give Up.
"New Jersey thanks Senator Booker for choosing to celebrate Women's History Month / International Women's Day with a frank discussion on issues facing women today. With the rise in authoritarianism under the current administration, we discussed how women of color provide an easy and vulnerable target. In a diverse state like New Jersey, there are vibrant communities of color and immigrants from all over the world where women struggle to find their voice. We look forward to working with Senator Booker to raise awareness and find solutions for their concerns. NOW is committed to diversifying the feminist movement and fighting for equal opportunities for all women," said Anjali Mehrotra, Executive Director of National Organization for Women of New Jersey.
"The Alice Paul Institute is pleased to participate in this roundtable discussion with Senator Cory Booker and other leading organizations dedicated to highlighting issues important to women and girls. API applauds Booker's support of the Equal Rights Amendment, which was written and introduced by Alice Paul in 1923 but has yet to be ratified to the U.S. Constitution. Senator Booker has shared stories about Alice Paul and her life's work fighting for gender equality in the United States, he supported the Alice Paul Congressional Gold Medal Act in 2018, and has met with members of API's Girls Leadership Council to learn what issues are important to teen girls. The Alice Paul Institute is dedicated to continuing Alice Paul's and we look forward to working with Senator Booker to ensure our political system and laws provide true and lasting gender equality," said Krista Niles, Marketing and Civic Engagement, Alice Paul Institute.
"In order to build a safer, more equitable New Jersey, the New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault works to dismantle the intersectional forms of oppression that permit and promote violence. Meeting with Senator Booker, and our allies in this work across New Jersey, serves as the perfect opportunity to remember that we are never in this fight alone. It takes generations of steadfast activism and collaboration to make progress. While during Women's History Month, we recognize how far we've come -- it's important to remember we still have so far to go. Onward!" said Patricia Teffenhart, Executive Director of New Jersey Coalition Against Sexual Assault.
"Last year alone, Title X made it possible for nearly 110,000 people to access family planning services through the New Jersey Family Planning League's statewide network of providers. During this Women's History Month let us remember that accessible affordable patient-centered healthcare is critical to supporting women in defining for themselves what their families will look like, and pursuing the dreams and futures they imagine. NJFPL is deeply concerned about the recent attempts to undermine the successful Title X program, and thankful for the support of Senator Booker and our partners at today's roundtable discussion in protecting access to affordable, quality healthcare,â?? said Rachel Baum, Vice President of Program Services for New Jersey Family Planning League.
"Planned Parenthood in New Jersey is grateful to Senator Booker for holding this roundtable event. Health care is a human right. During Women's History Month, it's especially important to highlight how vital high-quality, affordable reproductive health care is. Planned Parenthood health centers in New Jersey see nearly 70,000 patients annually. The patients we serve come to us for routine gynecological care, STD testing and treatment, cancer screenings, and abortion care. We're proud to serve the women of New Jersey and all of our patients. We're thankful that Senator Booker has highlighted the important work done in Planned Parenthood health centers in New Jersey with this event. Despite recent attacks by the Trump-Pence administration, we will continue to provide care, no matter what," said Roslyn Rogers Collins, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey.
"When we ensure women have paycheck fairness and family-friendly workplaces, we transform not only their lives but the lives of their families and communities. Policies like equal pay, paid family leave and paid sick days are essential stepping stones on the road to economic security and the middle class. We have seen how these policies have transformed lives here in New Jersey and we hope to see you them adopted at the national level as well," said Dena Mottola Jaborska, Associate Director at New Jersey Citizen Action.
"On the heels of International Women's Day, we are honored to sit with Senator Booker to talk about women's rights and the future of equality for women in the state of New Jersey and in our great country. A fierce advocate for women's rights and human rights, Senator Booker continues to battle injustice, violence and inequality against women on the national stage," said Erin Chung, Executive Director at Women For Progress.