HERVotes: Why Women Must Vote in 2012

By Eleanor Smeal, President of the Feminist Majority Foundation and Publisher of Ms. Magazine

This blog is part of the #HERvotes blog carnival.

The Feminist Majority Foundation and Ms. magazine are proud to join a number of organizations representing millions of American women in an effort to mobilize women voters in 2012 around preserving women’s health and economic rights.

Right now, a slew of historic gains for women are under threat of being weakened, cut, or eliminated by extremist policies at the local, state and federal level. These attacks–on Medicaid, on Social Security, on Medicare, on the Affordable Care Act, on the Equal Pay Act, on the Violence Against Women Act, on family-planning, on workplace protections against sex discrimination, and more–are attacks against women, plain and simple.

HERvotes has released a list of the top 10 historic advances for women’s lives and security that are under threat.

These laws weave the safety net that ensures that women and other vulnerable populations are protected at times when we are ill, poor, unemployed or discriminated against. It’s unjust for leaders to prioritize Wall Street corporations over Main Street women and families.

Our best hope to keep the safety net in place is our collective voting power. That’s why, from now through Labor Day, Ms., the Feminist Majority and dozens of other women’s groups will be blogging about the real-life effects of the attacks on women’s rights. Check back here daily for more women raising their voices in defense of our rights.

Women must mobilize, register, and flex our electoral might to hold onto our crucial health and economic rights. Join the effort by blogging, Tweeting under the hashtag #HERvotes, supporting efforts to register women to vote, and most of all, helping the highest number of women in history to vote in 2012.

It’s been an honor to work with a number of extraordinary women to launch this campaign–and the list continues to grow! My heartfelt thanks to:

Photo from Flickr user sleepyneko under Creative Commons 2.0.


  1. Yes, elections are important. We have to remember that unfortunately not every woman is a ‘sister’ when they are running for office.
    I like the tempered approach of this campaign. I still want to see women elected to office. But I want to first ensure that what we all support will be advanced.

    In Austin, Texas, Kathie Tovo put on a great presentation during and after being elected to city council. Supporters believed she would do something to effectively address entrenched economic disparities in the city. Well, she forgot this afterwards, voting to raise utility rates in one of the most expensive cities during a massive recession.

    And at the national level, we cannot ignore the Michelle Bachmnanns. Not only are they opposed to reproductive rights, LGBT equality, and civil rights but they also want to roll back food safety and minimum wage laws. These people did not even like the 20th century.

  2. The assumption being that women haven’t voted for the past century since they got the right to vote? They have been the majority voters, infact the gvts we have (good or bad) are, by and large, thanks to women.

    Telling them to vote is basically preaching to the converted. women will just vote for men, and think they are making a difference. Talk of confusing activity with achievement!

    The big question is: why did women fight for suffrage rights? Was it in order to vote for men?

    I’m telling any woman who cares to listen that in 2012, if you aren’t planning to vote for women please stay at home, don’t vote at all!
    Somebody talked about Bachmann. Women politicians are forced to pander to men’s crap coz men are the ones who, when they feel like it, vote for women. The one who pays the piper… In any case, if you don’t think the female candidates are credible, Why don’t you F-ing run yourself?!?

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