What Women Want – Your Voice Matters

December 4, 2014 | By More

Your Voice Matters: Conversations With Florida Women and Families

#Women  #YourVoiceMatters  #Doral

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Your Voice Matters meeting took place last night at Doral City Hall. What is it about, and why women would want to attend this meeting? Your Voice Matters: Conversations With Florida Women and Families is an event organized by Florida Commission On The Status Of Women statewide. Meeting in Doral was presented by the Commissioner Elizabeth Pines. The purpose of the meetings was to hear the voice of real women who are the foundation of any community, who work hard, take care of the children and their families.

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We, women, have plenty to do in our lives, right? We do it all and then some… For the most of us politics is left to the politicians (majority of which are men). But how everything works is formed by the laws that are created and voted for and accepted “up there” in the government (again, by men). Florida Commission On The Status Of Women are travelling around the state with the purpose to hear what real women want, create a report of their findings, what needs to be done to improve the quality of living in our state, and then present it “up there” to the lawmakers.

The questions asked were about the top challenges women, families and single parents are facing now days and what possible solutions to the challenges could be.

Those a few women in Doral who attended, most of them are Commission on the Status of Women Advisory Board members, shared their concerns openly.

TOP CHALLENGES FACED BY WOMEN

  • Earn paid sick leave
  • Paid family leave, for example if you take care of a sick child or have a family emergency (especially needed if the parent is single)
  • Equal pay for women and consistent work schedule
  • Affordable after school care
  • Affordable day care
  • Women immigrants transition assistance and support
  • Society evolution for single women

TOP FAMILY CHALLENGES

  • Full time workers should not require welfare (higher minimum wage)
  • Medicaid expansion
  • Access to higher education
  • Domestic violence
  • Teacher bullying

TOP SINGLE PARENTS CHALLENGES

  • Paid sick leave
  • Paid family leave
  • Flexible scheduling daycare
  • Affordable daycare
  • Child support enforcement (civil legal assistance)
  • Education and training on risk management and financial planning (example: every single parent must have a life insurance)

FEMALE LEADERSHIP

  • Local level grass roots leadership development
  • Support and encouragement of girls

OTHER CONCERNS, OR ELEVATOR SPEECH TO A LAWMAKER IN THE GOVERNMENT

  • Spend public money in PUBLIC education (not charter schools)
  • Hearing loss disability:  hearing aids is not a luxury but cost like one, must be covered by medical insurance
  • Invest in education
  • Expand medicaid
  • Fight for the average Floridian worker

NOTES

Women are encouraged to go and VOTE on the voting days. We cannot change the things as they are, at least immediately, but we can try to change them with higher probability of success if we participate in conversations like this one, and if us, women, go and VOTE when it’s time. Some important changes can be done only through the ballot and voting. If women are passive, what’s going to happen? Educational budget cuts, all other good stuff not happening… 

What I saw at  that meeting – our representatives in the government are listening, they want to hear from real people, and they want to help us to change things for good. But at the end, it is our responsibility to go and vote for the things we want to be changed (if they made it to the ballot). This is our choice and our women’s power. Why don’t we use it?

These are the notes from Doral meeting only. There are many more conversations with women that took place all over the Florida. As a result of this program, the Florida Commission on the Status of Women will submit its findings in a comprehensive report, presenting an inclusive look into wide-ranging issues women and families are experiencing. The report to be entitled Your Voice Matters: Conversations With Florida Women and Families, will be released during the 2015 Florida Women’s Day at the Capitol to be held on March 24, 2015 in Tallahassee, FL.

MEETING ATTENDEES 

Elizabeth Pines (Florida Commission on the Status of Women)
Mara Zapata (Chair for the Miami Dade Commission for Women)
Laura Morilla (Executive Director for the Miami Dade Commission for Women)
Kit Rafferty (Miami Dade Commission for Women)
Raisa Sequera (Miami Dade Commission for Women)
Maria de La Rosa, Jackeline Caban, Marisela Boria, Mary Taboada, Angela Salmon, Galina Vitols, Alejandra Moreno

 

Voice Of Women Summary Photo Gallery

 

 

 

 

 

 

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About the Author ()

Galina Vitols is the publisher and editor of DoralCityLife.com - an on-line magazine about Doral, local news, events and city information. Galina resides in Doral with her family since 1999. She is passionate about photography, healthy cooking and all things digital.