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  • Glicel Sumagaysay

International Women’s Day

March 8 was International Women's Day. I am proud of, grateful for and celebrate those who have protected and continue to protect women’s rights and opportunities.

Thank you to those who fought for women’s right to vote. It sounds ridiculous to me that women did not have the right to vote at any time, but, as a woman judge alluded to recently, women obtained the right to vote only about 95 years ago.

Thank you to Lilly Ledbetter, who had the courage to challenge the fact that she was being paid less than her male counterparts at Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company for doing the same work. Her nearly decade long fight led to President Obama’s Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which, among other things, states that the discriminatory compensation decision that starts the clock to bring a claim occurs with each discriminatory pay check[1]. Thank you to those who have made California the state with the strongest equal pay protections[2].

Thank you to female attorney Lori Rifkin, who refused to put up with her male opposing counsel’s sexist comment that her raising her voice at him was “unbecoming of a woman.[3]” Thank you to Magistrate Judge Grewal for recognizing the preposterousness of such a comment and ordering the sexist counsel to pay $250 to the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles Foundation.

Thank you to those who fight for and celebrate women’s rights and education around the world: women in the Philippines can now run for president there[4]. Malala Yousafzai, who even after being shot by the Taliban for her girls' education advocacy, continues to raise funds for girls’ education and work to “empower girls to raise their voices, to unlock their potential and to demand change” in Pakistan[5].

Thank you to the women who support other women because they know generally, we are in similar boats.

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