Why I'm Not 'Striking' Today - And What The 'Day Without Women' Gets Wrong

| MAR 8, 2017 | 12:57 AM

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Andrew CABALLERO-REYNOLDS (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/Getty Images

Ronna McDaniel is the chairwoman of the Republican Party.

On this International Women’s Day we remember the challenges generations of women have overcome as they fought for the rights and representation we have today. It is a day to empower women and girls everywhere to make their voices heard and, most importantly, to achieve their full potential.

Because of those who came before us, today, just like every day of every week, millions of women around the world woke up and went to work. They drove, bussed, and walked to their jobs at factories, corporate offices, government buildings, and schools. More even still woke up and were already on the job as mothers and caretakers.

These women do not have the privilege of taking a day off, shirking their professional and personal responsibilities. The women striking today promote the ideals of a small subset of women in this country. While they make their TV appearances in the name of championing all women, the message rings remarkably tone deaf to the struggles of so many women across our country who do not enjoy the same privilege.

Many women across this country are mothers, like myself, who don’t get to take a day off from that most important job. A job that means being a role model for our children every day. My daughter knows that when her mom goes to work, it’s because her grandmother, and her grandmother’s mother, fought for years to pave a path for women to have a voice in politics and a seat at the table.

We must use our seat at the table to be a voice every day for women and girls across the country who often do not have the same opportunity to have their voices heard. This means advocating for childcare and paid family leave, as first daughter Ivanka Trump has championed in this administration.

It means advocating for quality and affordable healthcare for families of all backgrounds, as House Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers and so many other women in Congress have worked tirelessly to promote.

This means engaging in our communities—talking to our neighbors, local business owners, and elected officials—to encourage investment in American jobs to make our economy more competitive.

For too long people have felt left behind in the workforce and no longer see the American Dream as attainable.

I will never take a day off from working to make sure that the Republican Party is a place where we restore optimism for generations to come.

Last week, reports surfaced of dozens of women in uniform having their dignity and privacy violated by hundreds of male peers. When this happens we must shout our condemnation from the rooftops. No woman, especially those putting their lives on the line at home and abroad, should ever feel as though she is unsafe when she shows up to work each day. We must demand better for our colleagues, sisters, mothers, and friends every day.

So, for me, today was a day like any other. I went to work alongside women—and men—who are working every single day to lift up our fellow Americans, be role models for our children, and leave our country even better than we found it.

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