A group of panelists passionate about government and its effect on women and children spoke Sunday at the Carnegie Building during a panel discussion on the status of women and children in Kansas, sponsored by the Douglas County Democratic Party.
The discussion was led by Abbie Hodgson, secretary of the Douglas County Democratic Party. The panelists first spoke briefly about his or her area of expertise before the discussion was opened for questions from the audience.
Topics addressed during the session ranged from health care access and welfare to economics and abortion.
At the end of the discussion Hodgson asked the panelists what each would suggest for others to do to improve the lives of women and children in Kansas. The panelists’ answers included for women to be open about reproductive health experiences, getting involved in a political campaign, not supporting regressive taxes, finding links between problems in Kansas and other cities in the U.S., and giving students a better math education.
Hodgson suggested that each audience member take panelists’ suggestions and carry them out.
“You are the ones who have the power to change our state and move forward,” she said.
On the panel were Mark Desetti, director of government affairs and communication at the Kansas National Education Association; Donna Ginther, Kansas University professor of economics; Jennifer Hamer, Kansas University professor in the American Studies department; Elise Higgins, a lobbyist for the National Organization for Women; Don Jordan, former secretary of the Kansas Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services; and Kansas Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger.