We honor Women’s Day, an international celebration of women’s struggles throughout the world for justice and fundamental fairness by highlighting the contribution of several extraordinary women.
Sandra Fluke: Showing up on the media radar screens in recent weeks, Sandra Fluke is the the courageous and composed Georgetown Law student who endured defamation at the hands of Rush Limbaugh. Fluke took a stand to advocate for the insurance coverage of female contraceptives by her Jesuit- and Catholic-affiliated university. This stance sparked outrage from the conservative pundit Limbaugh, resulting in a brutal name-calling tirade. Her grace under pressure was remarkable and inspirational. We congratulate Ms. Fluke for keeping her head high while fighting for a cause often too sensitive for many.
Elizabeth Warren: Frequently featured in TCO blogs for her consumer advocacy, Ms. Warren has had a very busy year. Her accomplishments in 2011 include playing an instrumental role in crafting the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, taking a firm stand on behalf of consumers before a hostile congressional panel, and declaring her candidacy for the U.S. Senate. TCO hopes Warren will earn her Senate seat, giving consumers a strong, affirmative voice in Washington. With her tremendous intellect and impressive drive, Elizabeth Warren is an example of what great potential there is for new leadership and new approaches to governing.
Cheryl Eckard: Being a whistleblower is no easy task—Ms. Eckard lost her job and risked disdain from her colleagues all for the sake of what she knew was right. Cheryl Eckard provided information about Glaxo-Smith Kline’s deficient drug production standards and has likely saved lives because she came forth with the necessary information. Her courage unfortunately has been clouded by her award of $96 million. Still, we thank Ms. Eckard for understanding that lives were at risk from a corporation’s flagrant misconduct and taking steps to do what is right.
Sherry Hunt: Thanks to a courageous whistleblower, Sherry Hunt, Citigroup must pay $153 million to settle a civil suit alleging that the bank directed its mortgage supervisors to look the other way as tens of thousands of loans were signed, many without proper documentation. The practice of “robosigning” has contributed to this decade’s crashing financial markets and we thank Hunt for bringing accountability to the banking industry.
Hillary Clinton: Former First Lady, Senator, and current Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton is the quintessential symbol of female empowerment. As the most-traveled secretary in office, Clinton has been at the forefront of the U.S. response to the Arab Spring, notably advocating for U.S. military intervention in Libya. Clinton is also known for her work with ‘Hillarycare’ in the 90s, a health care plan that sought medical coverage of employees by their employers. Her initiative also advocated for illness immunization for children without insurance.
Assisted by Arezu Hadjialiloo.