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Josette Jaramillo Headshot

Why Women Will March in Colorado

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On April 28, Colorado women will gather in Denver's Civic Center Park for a short march to the State Capitol. Not a long walk, but it should carry a significant message to the politicians who work inside and beyond: We will not be ignored.

I am not sure why women have to remind politicians periodically that what we want matters. After all, we're slightly more than half the population and we're everywhere.

Maybe we could chalk it up to short memories. After all, it was just two short years ago that U.S. Senate candidate Ken Buck got himself in hot water for taking a swipe at his female primary opponent by saying that people should vote for him because he didn't "wear high heels." He followed that up by saying he thought women should have to bear children, even in cases of rape or incest. He did not win the Senate race or the women's vote.

Colorado women do not agree on every topic. We are a diverse group with a wide range of political and personal beliefs. But the vast majority of us are pretty clear that we would like as much control of our own destiny as our male friends.

This year, we again are fighting extreme political views, with public debate over contraception coverage and the so-called personhood (life begins at the moment of conception) amendment will be on the November ballot. It's a tiresome fight that wastes time and resources.

Colorado gave women the right to vote in 1893 -- decades before women could vote in national elections -- and we are STILL debating whether women have the right to make their own personal decisions? Seriously?

What possesses politicians to debate women's reproductive issues without women? Why try to defund Planned Parenthood and pretend it won't impact our moms, sisters and daughters? Or make permanent cuts to the state schools that will impact our kids and our economy?

Colorado is a swing state in the 2012 election. And women are one of the battleground targets. What Colorado women need matters and will help decide the November election.

It may be exhausting at times to remind the world that our votes and our voices matter. But we'll keep doing it. So join the crowd on Saturday. The march begins at 10 a.m. at Civic Center Park in Denver.