What did Ruth Bader Ginsburg mean to us? Hope, perseverance, and change – long-lasting change. Women will never again be so shackled by stereotypes and discrimination. RBG methodically took aim at societal expectations and unjust laws designed to limit the potential of women and girls, and she won. Repeatedly.
It seems only fitting that we honor RBG with both mourning and celebration. In life and in death, she is a catalyst pushing us to do everything we can – in personal circles, in our work, in all areas where we have influence, to pick up where RBG left off and carry forth her vision.
RBG has been an inspiration to those of us at Population Media Center. Improving the status of women and girls is a pillar of our core values. We know that when we provide girls with an education, ensure reproductive rights to control their own bodies, and secure equal opportunities for economic freedom, we give women the power to control their futures. When the potential of women and girls around the globe is unleashed, unrealized dreams for the future of the global community become possible. RBG knew this too, winning victory after victory to expand freedom for women and girls.
“In the wide world, women encounter many deplorable conditions and traditions,” said RBG. “I would put my money on education. Educate girls so they can do whatever their God-given talent allows them to do. Think of all the women who might have been great scientists, great mathematicians, great musicians and artists, but they never had the chance.”
We can give girls that chance. RBG knew it would be a long, hard road – but she also knew it was possible, and that it must be done. Education, reproductive rights, and economic freedom are just some of the major tenets that must be won for gender equality.
RBG made it clear, many times, that equality is tied to women being able to make their own choices: “The decision whether or not to bear a child is central to a woman’s life – to her well-being and dignity. It is a decision she must make for herself.”
Thank you, RBG. We celebrate your remarkable life and legacy. And we will work each day to make sure every woman and every girl has the ability to make her own choices – determine her own future. Every woman deserves to celebrate who she is and to understand the dreams of which she is capable.
Jerri Lea Shaw
PMC Board Member
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