Letter: Women, it’s time: Let’s claim our voices and change the world.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) Donnie Davis joins other local supporters of the Equal Rights Amendment for a rally at the Utah Capitol on Tuesday, Dec. 3, 2019, to encourage Utah to ratify the ERA.

Decisions are being made that will impact our children’s future. Women need to be in the room and at the table. If there, we can change our current trajectory and the world, but only if we raise our voices regarding the many challenges facing us:

According to WalletHub, women lag behind men in wages, education, and political representation. The U.S. is ranked 78th globally in equality and Utah is last among states.

• The Great Salt Lake could disappear in five years, resulting in the creation of toxic dust, disrupted bird migratory patterns, altered ecological systems, and reduced snowfall in our resorts.

• Global warming’s threat is imminent. Yet our leaders pursue aggressive growth, spending tax dollars to woo businesses and mega donors, while ignoring constituent needs and the impact of population growth.

• Education is the life blood of our children’s future but schools are underfunded. A bill that sends taxpayer money to private schools through vouchers sailed through our male-dominated legislature. It will effectively subsidize the rich while pulling money out of neighborhood schools. One of the bill’s advocates stated that the goal was to destroy public education, although she later retracted after the comment.

We are in a crisis but not acting like it. Studies show when women are included in policy decisions, solutions are better, yet women continue to be silent. Heather Cox Richardson, a Boston College professor, began publishing daily essays that put current events in historical context and encourage her followers — over a million in number — to “take up oxygen”.

You and I may not become influencers but we can speak up. We can contact our representatives, write letters, voice our perspectives, learn about the issues, run for office, and support those who run. Let’s claim our voices and change the world.

Terri Jo Lorz, Salt Lake City

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