Happy Women’s Equality Day!

The test for whether or not you can hold a job should not be the arrangement of your chromosomes. – Bella Abzug

Photo credit: http://www.womenwhochangedamerica.org/profile/bella-abzug/

Although it seems a little premature to celebrate Women’s Equality Day since gender equality has not yet been achieved, this day is a chance to recognize the great women who fought for the rights that all women enjoy today.  To celebrate this occasion, I decided to do a little research about Bella Abzug, the incredible woman who is responsible for this national holiday.

Nicknamed “Battling Bella” for her strong personality and willingness to fight tirelessly for equality, Bella Abzug was a lawyer, congresswoman and feminist activist.  After being denied admittance to Harvard because they did not accept women, she earned her law degree at Columbia.  She went on to serve three terms as a Congresswoman for New York, a position that allowed her to advocate for women’s rights.  She played an important role in the passage of the Equal Rights Amendment, Title IX and the Equal Credit Oppotunity Act, as well as the creation of this holiday.

Bella was known for her large hats and even larger personality.  Her hats became an icon of the women’s liberation movement, but they were actually another one of Bella’s ways of fighting against patriarchal society.  Bella explained, “I began wearing hats as a young lawyer because it helped me to establish my professional identity. Before that, whenever I was at a meeting, someone would ask me to get coffee”.

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A Female Mayor of Paris – Oui, bien sur!

Photo of Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (left) and Anne Hidalgo (right) - Photo from Jezebel.com

Photo of Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet (left) and Anne Hidalgo (right) – Photo from Jezebel.com

For the first time in the city’s 2000 year history, Paris will have a female mayor in 2014! The two most prominent political parties have announced their candidates for the mayoral race, and both parties selected female politicians to represent their parties in this important election. These two women are not only vying for the highly respected position of mayor of Paris, but they are also battling it to for a place in history as the first female mayor of Paris. The significance of this election is not lost on candidate Nathalie Kosciusko-Morizet, who recognizes the profound impact that this election will have on women in french politics.

Being the first female mayor of Paris will be a big symbol and a very positive sign for women who wanted to go into politics but who daren’t go into it in the past. Paris is ready for such a change and I’m sure that France could one day elect a woman as president.

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Feminist History Lesson: August 18, 1920

opposed_suffrage

On August 18, 1920, ninety-three years ago today, the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified.  This amendment stated,

“the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex”.

This landmark decision ended the 70 year fight for universal suffrage which began in 1848 with the Seneca Falls Convention.   The amendment, drafted by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, was proposed in 1878, but it was 41 years later that Congress finally submitted the amendment for ratification.

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