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House Democrats' Women's History Month Legislative News Conference Highlights Ongoing Fight for Equality, Putting People First

March 22, 2024
Munira Abdullahi News

COLUMBUS — House Minority Leader Allison Russo (D-Upper Arlington), State Rep. Munira Abdullahi (D-Columbus), president of the Ohio Democratic Women's Caucus and several other women of the Ohio House Democratic Caucus yesterday held a press conference honoring Women’s History Month. Each member highlighted legislative priorities Democrats are fighting for that empower and support women across Ohio. 

“As we come together to celebrate and support all women in Ohio, we acknowledge the ongoing work that still needs to be done to achieve freedom, dignity, and opportunity in all aspects of life,” said Leader Russo. “Women’s History Month is not only a celebration but also a reminder of the continued need for advocacy, support, and empowerment for women across Ohio.”

Speaking about the recent attacks on reproductive rights in Ohio over the past year, Rep. Beth Liston (D-Dublin) explained the importance of her’s and Rep. Anita Somani’s (D-Dublin) Reproductive Care Act.

“Despite what extremist lawmakers in Ohio have been doing, people in Ohio have spoken out and the right to make reproductive decisions is now a part of our state constitution," said Rep. Liston. “However, this does not change the law and women are still being denied access to care due to confusion and fear. We in the House Democratic caucus have heard the voters in Ohio and are working to make sure women in our state continue to have reproductive freedom and the opportunities it affords.”

Rep. Munira spoke to the celebration of women’s accomplishments but noted the struggles that women have endured and barriers that they have yet to overcome.

“It would be remiss of us, in our celebration, to ignore the persisting conditions of women that fall short of the world we are striving for. The condition of women’s rights today is in a multiplex state, a blend of systemic barriers and entrenched inequalities, presenting itself in nearly all aspects of life for women globally,” said Rep. Munira. “I am fortunate to be a partner on several House Democrats’ common-sense legislation that strives to bring about progress, fight against the attacks on women and bring awareness to women's issues, building off what centuries of women's activism have achieved.”

Rep. Beryl Brown Piccolantonio (D-Gahanna) spoke about the fight for equal pay for women, calling for the passage of the Rep. Brent (D-Cleveland) and Jessica E. Miranda’s (D-Forest Park) Ohio Equal Pay Act.

“March 12, 2024, was national Equal Pay Day which is a date that was chosen to represent how far into the year women must work to earn what men earned in the previous year. All Ohioans should receive equal pay for equal work which is why I’m proud to serve with colleagues who put People First and have introduced legislation to address the issue,” said Rep. Brown Piccolantonio.

Rep. Michele Grim (D-Toledo) addressed her Ohio Safe Homes Act and her Keeping Our Survivors Safe Act, legislation that supports survivors of domestic violence. 

“Every woman should have the freedom to walk down the street without the fear that her former abusive partner will harm her with a firearm. Every woman should have the dignity to terminate a lease shared with an abuser and move to a safe environment without fear of financial repercussions. Every woman should have the opportunity to live a full and complete life in our state, rest assured in the knowledge that as legislators, we value her life more than the right of her abusers to own a gun,” said Rep. Grim.

Rep. Juanita Brent (D-Cleveland) addressed anti-discrimination issues that Black women continue to face in Ohio. She called for passage on her C.R.O.W.N Act, bipartisan legislation that would prohibit discrimination against an individual because of traits associated with race, including hair texture and styles.

“What makes this month so important and what people need to know is that we have been doing the work. We have been doing it over many General Assemblies,” said Rep. Brent. “The C.R.O.W.N Act is something I’ve introduced for the third time. All we are doing is trying to make sure that hair discrimination is not something that people in Ohio or anywhere in the United States are still experiencing. We have to let Ohioans know that we hear you, we want to protect you, and we are concerned about you.”

House Republicans have not taken any serious measures to advance these proposed pieces of legislation. House Democrats are committed to creating a state that works for and supports all Ohioans, regardless of race, gender, income, and zip code. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today’s press conference at the Ohio Statehouse can be viewed here