Two weeks ago I met three women who reminded me why OWL is so important. Each of the meetings was independent of the other. The first was a long time friend who had retired but announced that she was looking for work. When I asked why, she said that her adult son had become ill and she needed more money to help him out. I nodded knowing I would do the same in those circumstances. Once a mother, always a mother. The second woman was single and she had just received a pink slip, obviously worried about how she would manage if she couldn’t work – wondering who would hire a 60 year old woman in a recession. The third woman was disabled, in her 50s, and had lost her home to foreclosure. She couldn’t work even if someone was hiring (which they aren’t).
None of these women were complaining but they each had a drawn face and a worried look. I could feel their concern on the verge of panic and I thought to myself, there but for fortune I go also.
We each know stories of people who are suffering in this economy and of those who were suffering before the economy took a dive. It is for these women and others like them that OWL advocates for universal health care and against age and gender discrimination. It is for these women that we fight for a safety net that will protect people with dignity when a disabling illness takes their ability to make a living. And it is for these women that we demand that Congress pass protections against banks and investment companies from ruining our economy.
Ellen A. Bruce