On June 26, 2008, Sherry Ludwig gave a two-minute oral testimony to the California Commission on the Status of Women in San Diego.
Good afternoon, Ladies. I am Sherry Ludwig, representing the American Association of University Women. Today I lay before you testimony for the many faces that have no voice in our one shared world.
AAUW advocates by educating the public about legislation that has paved the way for societal change at home and abroad, legislation that promotes respect for diversity and the rejection of all forms of discrimination and violence against women and girls. CEDAW (United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women) has effected many changes in the last ten years, but we know that until all countries acknowledge its existence, the resultant true work of peace will not be achieved.
Today I speak to the issue of immigration in San Diego, which affects all of CA, and the status of women and children in the process of relocating. Sixty percent of immigrants are single mothers or grandmothers who need bare necessities for their families and who also need English lessons. Without the knowledge of English, they will not be able to get jobs; they will not be able to communicate with healthcare workers and the like. They also need childcare. I spoke to a gentleman from North Africa recently and asked him what was the most difficult problem his wife had to overcome when she arrived in CA. Saber’s answer was simple, “No English, no job!”
With new immigrants arriving from Burma and the Sudan, we are left to ponder what will be the face of CA in 2018, in ten more years, and how we can mobilize our efforts to promote the general welfare of the new immigrant woman and to facilitate her access to funding, to education, to healthcare and to childcare. As Director-Elect of International Advocacy for AAUW CA, I ask that we all combine our efforts to advocate on her behalf to provide her with easier access to funding, to anticipate her future needs and to influence the passage of CEDAW.