“2019 is the 100th anniversary of the women’s right to vote,” the freshman lawmaker told CNN before President Donald Trump’s address. “There’s so much more that we have to fight for, from wage equality to paycheck fairness to protecting ourselves and believing survivors.”
Ocasio-Cortez, 29, donned suffragist white alongside dozens of other female House members in support of gender equality and women’s rights. Other women in white included Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), Lois Frankel (D-Fla.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.).
“We have a very large number of women, a record of number certainly in the freshman class, that have been elected to Congress this year,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “It shows that, over 100 years, this battle and this fight for women’s equality has been long and it’s been difficult, but it has reaped many rewards in our democracy.”
Frankel, chair of the House Democratic Women’s Working Group, told CNN that the group chose to wear white because it’s “a respectful message of solidarity with women across the country, and a declaration that we will not go back on our hard-earned right.”
Democratic members of the House have done this before. In 2018, the House Democratic Women’s Working Group coordinated with male and female congressional members to wear black to the State of the Union address in a show of solidarity with the Me Too movement.
Ocasio-Cortez also wore white to her swearing-in ceremony earlier this year.
“I wore all-white today to honor the women who paved the path before me, and for all the women yet to come,” she tweeted at the time. “From suffragettes to Shirley Chisholm, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the mothers of the movement.”
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