Letter to the Editor

GOP women move forward

Thursday, March 24, 2016

For the first time in the 77-year history of the Iowa Federation of Republican Women the group heard from a female Speaker of the Iowa House during its annual Legislative Day at the Capitol on Tuesday.

The address by Iowa Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer, a Republican from Clear Lake, is a milestone worth hailing, particularly in a presidential election year when Republicans are falsely accused of waging a war on women, says Melissa Gesing, IowaFRW president from Brooklyn.

Gesing refutes that claim as ridiculous and lists just a few examples of Republican women firsts throughout the nation, in addition to Upmeyer.

"The first female U.S. senator from Iowa is Joni Ernst. The first woman highest in line for presidential succession is Condoleezza Rice. The first woman appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court is Sandra Day O'Connor. The first female Hispanic governor is Susana Martinez. They're all Republicans, as were the suffragists who made it possible for women to vote today," Gesing states.

The day-long gathering in Des Moines focused on two priority issues for the Federation on both the state and national levels: an unwavering commitment to unity within the Republican party; and fighting against human trafficking nationwide...

One year ago, at the 2015 IowaFRW Legislative Day, the group formally denounced human trafficking and pledged to support laws that punished the criminals and supported their victims.

"We have joined the National Federation of Republican Women in denouncing human trafficking and we continue to advocate for stricter minimum sentences and asset confiscation for perpetrators," says Kim Reem, NFRW fourth vice president and IowaFRW immediate past president. According to the FBI, sex trafficking is the fastest-growing business of organized crime and the third-largest criminal enterprise in the world.

In May of 2015, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, co-sponsored by Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, became law. "We strongly support this legislation that deters human trafficking and comes to the aid of its victims," Reem adds.