It Is Time for Our Voices to be Heard

Lena Taylor and Melissa Sargent
March 07, 2014

On Feb. 20, the Wisconsin Assembly passed Assembly Joint Resolution 100, honoring International Women's Day. International Women's Day has been celebrated on March 8 since the early 1900s.

From factory workers to abolitionists, women have always spoken out against oppression and inequality. They organized to demand better working conditions, equal pay and the right to vote. As 50% of the world's population, our fore-mothers realized they had a critical role to play in the political, social and economic life of their society.

It is time for our voices to be heard. We applaud the Wisconsin Legislature's bipartisan action in honoring this important day. However, much work still needs to be done for the advancement of women's rights around the world.

Our communities benefited directly from the leadership women provided in bringing the federal government shutdown to an end last fall. We know firsthand that when included as meaningful participants, women expand the scope of agreements to include a broader set of critical societal priorities and needs required for lasting justice and peace.

Historically, women have filled irreplaceable roles in creating and implementing sustainable solutions to conflict. The pattern of excluding women must be set aside in order to move peace, security and women's rights forward in Wisconsin, in the United States and around the world.

We know that women's voices must be heard on the most important issue of all: peace. Recently, the bipartisan Women, Peace and Security Act was introduced in Congress to ensure that women are equal partners in peace-building efforts.

We applaud U.S. Reps. Gwen Moore and Mark Pocan for their leadership on this essential legislation and encourage the rest of Wisconsin's congressional delegation to sign on to this bill as well. This legislation takes the important step of involving and empowering women in the process of resolving conflict and building a lasting peace.

The Women, Peace and Security Act promotes the role of women in preventing and ending violent conflict and protects women and girls from gender-based violence during war and crisis. The passing of this legislation will advance the participation of women in all efforts to create and maintain peace and security both here at home and internationally.

This bill is an important step in integrating women's voices into governmental processes around our globe. This legislation has and will continue to empower women in contributing toward conflict resolution. Women must have a seat at the table, and their voices must be heard.


Originally published on the website of Journal Sentinel under the title "Women, Peace and Security". 

Photo by Ray Cunningham.


PN Member Sen. Lena Taylor is an American State Senator in Wisconsin. Senator Taylor is a member of the joint committee on finance,the committee on economic development and veterans and military affairs, the joint legislative council, joint committee on review of administrative rules, and the joint review committee on criminal penalties.

PN Member Melissa Sargent is a state representative from the state of Wisconsin, United States. She serves of numerous committees including the committee on audit and the committee on international commerce and trade. 

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