The American Canyon City Council faced a controversy that none of us expected to see in California in 2023, when its only female member, Mariam Aboudamous, was questioned about her ability and willingness to complete her job as LAFCO member, which she wanted to do. You see, she had recently become a mother.
The Napa County branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) wrote and delivered a letter to each member of the council opposing this blatant gender bias and pointing out that gender discrimination is illegal. It was apparent at a recent meeting from all the apologies that were offered, that our message, along with those of many individuals, was heard.
We want to commend first, Mark Joseph for supporting Ms. Aboudamous for LAFCO appointee at both meetings, and secondly, the mayor, city council members, city manager, and city attorney for their support of specific training for all involved to ensure that gender discrimination is never again in play or goes unchecked.
Let me be clear that a huge part of the problem arose when no one stood and recognized gender discrimination as it occurred. The women of AAUW (170,000 members) will always stand to support our mission “to advance gender equity for women and girls through research, education, and advocacy.” We thank all the members of the American Canyon community who wrote and spoke in support of women and girls everywhere. Thank you also to our Public Policy Chair, Joy Barnes, for speaking on behalf of all of us. When we let our voices be heard, we create an opportunity for positive change.
— Carolyn Stewart, CoPresident, American Association of University
Women, Napa Branch