The Dakota Farmers Union plans a one-day women’s day March 11 at the CapitolNorth Dakota Farmers Union is partnering with North Dakota Women’s Network to sponsor a free Women Empowered Rise event that will offer behind the scenes insight, meetings with lawmakers and training on how to lobby. Transportation will be provided to and from designated bus stops and registration is available online at www.ndwomen.org.
North Dakota Farmers Union is partnering with North Dakota Women’s Network to sponsor a free Women Empowered Rise event that will offer behind the scenes insight, meetings with lawmakers and training on how to lobby. Transportation will be provided to and from designated bus stops and registration is available online at www.ndwomen.org.
“Our goal is to have 150 women join us at the state Capitol this year to see how the system works,” said Renee Stromme, executive director of the North Dakota Women’s Network. “Women can come and learn how to testify at a hearing and see how the floor votes on issues. It doesn’t have to be intimidating. Our ultimate goal is to increase people’s participation in activism and encourage women to run for offices.”
Stromme has served as the executive director since the inception of the organization in 2006. Stromme helped organize the Women’s Network and has worked on issues to improve the lives of women through communication, legislation and increased public activism.
“In North Dakota, we have been fairly consistent with the number of women serving in our Legislature at about 17 percent. We want to see that percentage increase and get more women to serve. It’s proven that women are often more willing to reach across the aisle and get things done despite the partisanship. We want women to be vocal and more active in their communities and in our state.”
Stromme said the Women’s Day at the Capitol is an event that educates women on what goes on at the state Capitol and is an excellent way to get people more involved in the process.
One of the hot topics for the organization in this year’s legislative session is the child care availability in North Dakota. Day cares in western North Dakota are slowing closing infant, toddler and preschool classrooms because qualified workers cannot afford to work for low wages in the oil field area. The cost of living, groceries and overall economic health are causing day care workers to find jobs elsewhere.
“Day cares cannot privately follow suit with surrounding businesses that can compete with boom town wages,” Stromme said. “Costs will be passed on to parents who are already paying an average of 30 percent of their monthly income to child care costs. It’s issues like this that the North Dakota Women’s Network tries to address and advocate changes at the legislature.”