As the president lays the groundwork for his seventh State Of The Union address tonight, January 20, a new video highlights the pressing issues facing millennial women in particular.
In "The State Of Our Union: Millennial Women Speak," produced by Refinery29, a diverse group of women explain why current and would-be elected representatives should be paying attention to this generation's perspective.
According to Refinery29, 40 percent of millennials identify as non-white, our generation is twice likely as our parents to identify as LGBT and over two-thirds of millennial women have used contraceptives. Meanwhile, "over half of us live paycheck to paycheck" and we have more student debt than any generation before us.
As the video attests, partisan politics often do not serve millennial concerns -- 53 percent of young voters prefer a candidate who is fiscally conservative, but socially liberal.
"Issues like fiscal policy, student debt, reproductive rights, LGBT identity, physical safety, racial and ethnic diversity, and workplace protections. These statistics aren’t just abstract things -- they affect and reflect the daily lives of millions of young women," writes Refinery 29 editorial director Mikki Halpin in a post accompanying the video.
For women in particular, failure to substantively address gender discrimination in the workplace, inhibited access to reproductive rights, and outdated family leave policies collude to make life for women in 2014 much harder than it should be.
As the government begins to prioritize issues that curry favor with voters in 2016, they'd be well advised to pay attention. Millennial women make up some of the fasting growing parts of the electorate, with unmarried women and women of color are turning out at higher rates than other groups. Female voters effectively determined the outcome of the 2012 presidential election.
The women featured in the video shared some of their hopes for 2015:
As we listen closely to the president's address, it's time we demand the same courtesy. "In the coming year, we expect candidates and other national leaders to speak to young women, and to speak about young women," Halpin writes. "We just want to make sure that they are also listening to young women."