First I would like to say thank you to the organizers of this rally. I know many of you are beginning you life’s work as social change agents - your passion and perseverance is already palpable. To the greater Philadelphia community, our sisters and our brothers from all walks of life, each with a unique story; I am honored to be standing here today among all of you to share in our collective experience.
My name is Carly Goldberg. I am a social worker, mother, wife, daughter, friend, women’s rights activist, and feminist. In all of my roles I work hard to make sure that everyone, without exception, has access to information to make the best decision about his or her own health. I am here today to encourage you and remind myself as well, that we have a voice and our voice matters! With one another, our voice can be strong and loud and I encourage you always to speak your mind and make your voice heard!
Now, despite my very busy schedule I have to admit, I have a vice that I don’t readily speak of, that is my addiction to reality TV. One show that I am particularly fond of is the Rachel Zoe project. I have no good reason to be invested in this show, I am not a fashionista nor do I really care about celebrities. But there is something about watching the main character scurry around during “award-season” trying to find the perfect outfit to mark the occasion. I sometimes wonder, why can’t Ms. Zoe start her work, getting ideas for a look earlier in the season. Why is it just a once-a-year deal? Well, I sort of feel the same way about March. March, which is women’s history month, is jam packed with women-centered awareness activities. March includes international women’s day, and women’s HIV/AIDS awareness day, not to mention March is social work awareness month. Though I enjoy the flurry of activity, as I do when watching the Rachel Zoe project, I not-so-secretly wish that this level of intensity, the care put into raising awareness, education and action took place all throughout the year! Though I am excited to be here with you today, I hope this is not the last time until next March that I see your soggy, yet dazzling faces again!
So I leave you with this, my top ten reasons why we should care about women’s health all year long!
- Because our bodies should never be a battle ground for politicians!
- Because women must be able to access health care without fear of violence, harassment, or intimidation.
- Because young people must be able to get accurate information about their bodies and health and how to protect it.
- Because women, men, and teens must able to make their own decisions about their health and their futures without government intrusion.
- Because hangers, throwing ourselves down stairs and herbal concoctions should stay in our past.
- Because HIV, STDs and cancer are not just a women’s reproductive heath problem.
- Because our sisters of color are already silenced, let’s not make them invisible.
- Because healthcare is basic human right not a privilege - regardless of race, ethnicity, religion, and sexual orientation.
- Because our children matter.
- Because your voice and your story matters - silence kills!