To Be or Not to Be: ERA— the 28th Amendment?

After U.S. women were granted the right to vote with passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920 —and the end of the 72-year struggle for suffrage— Alice Paul, the National Woman’s Party leader, presented the Equal Rights Amendment in Seneca Falls, New York, during the 75th anniversary of the first Women’s Rights Convention.

Continue reading “To Be or Not to Be: ERA— the 28th Amendment?”

Amazing Women Spotlight: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

The first elected female head of state in African history and the first female Minister of Finance in Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf faced arrest and exile as an opponent of two violent, corrupt regimes and was further displaced by an ensuing civil war in Liberia. After the civil war and her election to the presidency in 2006, Sirleaf negotiated the lifting of international trade sanctions against Liberia, secured complete forgiveness of the country’s crushing external debt after 25 years of internal fighting, established a right to free, universal elementary education, enforced women’s rights, greatly invested in Liberian infrastructure, which helped … Continue reading Amazing Women Spotlight: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

Amazing Women Spotlight: Shirin Ebadi

A human rights lawyer, advocate, and the first Irani female judge and chief justice, Shirin Ebadi was removed from her post as judge after the Islamic Revolution due to the traditionally misogynistic nature of the new Islamic laws. Ebadi refused to accept this, however, and decided to obtain her license and open her own law practice. As an independent lawyer, Ebadi began defending those who were persecuted by the new Islamic state authorities, such as the families of murder victims and journalists. For her work defending those who went against the Islamic government, Ebadi was eventually arrested. In addition to … Continue reading Amazing Women Spotlight: Shirin Ebadi

Amazing Women Spotlight: Chief Wilma Mankiller

No electricity, no indoor plumbing, no telephone, and the sixth of eleven siblings, Wilma Mankiller was born in 1945 on the Cherokee reservation lands in Oklahoma and would rise up to be the first female elected chief in Cherokee nation history. At age ten, Mankiller and her family moved to San Francisco as part of a federal program to provide indigenous peoples with jobs in exchange for the reclamation of federally subsidized reservation land. However, in San Francisco Mankiller’s family only found sporadic job opportunities and discrimination. Mankiller grew up in San Francisco, and in 1969 she became involved in … Continue reading Amazing Women Spotlight: Chief Wilma Mankiller

16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence

This year marks the 28th anniversary of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence which was initiated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University in 1991.  The  16-days campaign begins on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends December 10, Human Rights Day. Violence against women (VAW) is the most pervasive human rights violation on earth. According to the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, violence against women and girls “means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, … Continue reading 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence

Amazing Women Spotlight: Truus and Freddie Oversteegen

Forced to live under the dangerous rule of the Nazi Party, these teenage siblings worked to resist Nazi authority in the Netherlands via distributing illegal newspapers, harboring fugitives, helping Jewish people escape detention facilities and concentration camps, and smuggling Jewish people to safety. Both girls received arms training to shoot occupying soldiers, helped set explosives to railroads and bridges, and engaged themselves in any way they could to undermine Nazi control. The Oversteegens are perhaps most memorable for their work in seducing Nazi officers and luring them into the woods, where fellow resistance members would be waiting to shoot and … Continue reading Amazing Women Spotlight: Truus and Freddie Oversteegen